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Date: Fri, 3 Dec 1999 15:40:51 -0700
From: Grant Green <>
Subject: Re: Fibre-Cane Reeds: Pro's and Con's

>Now here's one; How many people play on fibre-cane reeds or have
>ever played them?

Betcha nobody even *makes* synthetic contrabass clarinet reeds.  Or
even bass sax reeds.  Few even make *reed* contrabass clarinet reeds...

>If Charlie Parker were alive now, would he give up his old sax for
>an AKAI wind synthesiser? Would Mozart give up his Grand for a
>Yamaha Clavinova? Would Karr switch to a ZETA upright electric?
>Technology may be interesting but it should stay out of music..
>(This does not really apply to electric basses, guitars, vibes or

Wasn't Charlie Parker the guy who played a Grafton *plastic* alto sax?

As for Mozart, wasn't he somewhat before the introduction of the
modern pianoforte?  I seem to recall that he wrote for the
predecessor, the fortepiano - believe me, a different instrument from
today's concert grand.  He was also an early adopter of the clarinet
and basset horn.  Yeah, I think he'd write for clavinovas and synths
in a split second.

I view technology in music as simply increasing the possibilities.
Certainly, if you don't like the sound of a plastic reed, don't use
one.  On the other hand, if you have only 15 bars to play on bass
clarinet towards the end of the musical, and don't have time between
instrument switches to remove the reed and soak it, you might find it
an acceptable substitute.  Maybe tenor sax would be a better example:
you can sound like *anything* on a tenor and usually get away with it


Grant Green  

Date: Fri, 3 Dec 1999 19:43:27 EST
Subject: Re: [Contra digest]

About the oboe/basson comparison, I find the two instruments quite different.
 I didn't start on oboe, like someone mentioned, because no one in our middle
schools is allowed to, too diffucult, i guess.  i started on flute, and
switched to oboe, and the two are strikingly similar.  several years after, i
attempted the basoon, but i found almost everything quite different.  the
ometure (spelling?) isn't very similar, in my opinion, because one reed rests
verticly in your mouth and the other horizontally.  also, the fingerings bear
almost no resemblance, and just about everything, save the double reed, on
the instrument seems different.  but they both make beautiful, georgous
sounds! (and oboists seem to be connected to their least all that
i've met)

Date: Fri, 03 Dec 1999 06:07:39 -0800
From: Lawrence de Martin <>
Subject: Re: Subwoofers

> From: John Fierke <>
> There is a company/brand of speakers called BagEnd that I've seen
> in my Pro Audio catalogs which claims to go down to below 8 Hz.

The Bag End patent is interesting because they operate the drivers below
the resonance range.  This gives them excellent transient response, but
terrible efficiency.  It also severely limits the output power for low
bass.  The control box is a low-bass limiter to prevent driver damage.
The 8Hz frequency response is measured at sub-audible output level
(<100dB) unless they are operating in a closet-sized space.  It looks
good on the spec sheet, but there are far more practical subs like the
Hsu Research:
These don't have the transient accuracy of the Bag End, but they are
good enough for 99% of recordings; and for thousands of dollars,
hundreds of Watts and several square feet less.

I would be interested if anyone has technical data on the organ speakers
for 32' ranks, since the home and stage models I know of don't fulfill
my bass needs.

Larry de Martin

Date: Fri, 03 Dec 1999 22:45:22 -0400
From: "Robert S. Howe" <>
Subject: Re: Heckelphone part

Bass oboe is the usual replacement for Heckelphone.  Bassoon could do
it, too, and tenor Saxophhone is used by Hindemith.  I think the
baritone Saxophone has the most similar tone to the Heckelphone (I own
and play all of these except bassoon) but alas, it does not play high

Robert Howe wrote:
> If an Heckelphonist is unavailable, what are the advantages or disadvantages of having First or Asst. Principlal sub the part on the bassoon? Could the bassoon ever pass for a heckelphone?Is there a type of reed that would make the sound more reedy and nasal, in Heckelphone style? Also, what is the advantage of the tonal quality produced by an early English-style bocal (Waterhouse anyone?)
> Thank you all very much for input.
> -Michael Barrister
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
> or
>     The domain's Bond, James Bond - only from

Date: Fri, 3 Dec 1999 23:10:10 EST
Subject: Re: Heckelphone part

Would not a more obvious replacement be a c-melody sax? Same range and no
transposition. All of the melodies I have seen are of the older small bore,
which gives a nice dark sound, and a little bit of work on embouchure could
supply the reediness. At least that's what I tell my wife, so I can hang on
to the Mint Conn that I found a couple of years ago. Keep waiting for a
heckelphone part to come up.

David Huber
McAllen, TX

Date: Sat, 4 Dec 1999 00:52:51 EST
Subject: Re: Fibre-Cane Reeds: Pro's and Con's

In a message dated 12/3/99 4:28:46 PM, writes:

<< Now here's one; How many people play on fibre-cane reeds or have ever
played them? Here's what I think; they're "new-age crap" seeking to topple
the age-old methods of making woodwind instruments and reeds and everything
that adds to the splendor of the original woodwind sound. And I just think
they sound bad. >>


Yes, I have a fibre-cane reed somewhere in my collection.  I agree with you:
I also think they sound bad.

But, lets face it.  We're just being sentimental about the "old tried and
true" cane reeds and wooden instruments.  The real reason we don't use a
fibre-cane reed is that it sounds bad.  If I could find one that played like
real cane and sounded as well, I'd use it.

As far as wood instruments are concerned, I have played a couple old metal
clarinets that sounded as good as any wooden instruments I've had my hands
on.  Unfortunately they were for a higher pitch than A = 440 Hz.  Pulling out
to tune C on the staff, makes their throat tones quite flat.  I believe that
is the real reason metal clarinets have such a bad reputation.  Many were
made during a time when there were several competing pitches in use.

Today there are synthetic reeds reported to work and sound well.  The true
Grenadilla wood is no longer available, and other Black Woods are becoming
scarce.  There is a "Greenline" Pro Clarinet made of a plastic (although
impregnated with wood dust).  LeBlanc makes their Pro Contra instruments out
of metal.  Its just a matter of time.

Meanwhile, we are at the mercy of instrument manufacturers who won't make
instruments out of new materials if they think we won't buy them.  Once they
do, a new generation of musicians will use instruments made with new
materials.  We old timers will say the new instruments don't sound as good as
our old ones, but no one will pay any attention to us!

<A HREF="">MMB</A>

Date: Sat, 4 Dec 1999 01:43:25 EST
Subject: Help IDing a Bassoon

I just recieved a new instrument from my school, and i'm at a loss as to
which model it is.  I know it's a Fox.  It has a Very Red-ish maple body.  It
also has a high D key, but no high E key.  No plateau key for the left hand
3rd finger.  And it has rollers on the Ab, F, and F# keys for the right hand
pinky, and Eb and Db for the left hand pinky.  It's serial number is 981.  Is
there a bassoonist out there who could identify this?  Thanks in advance.

From: "Gregg Bailey" <>
Subject: Large electric basses
Date: Sat, 04 Dec 1999 01:33:06 CST

 In response to large electric basses, the bass player in our group (that I
play tenor sax and flute in) says that he has heard something called a
"Stick" which is an electric bass that plays an octave below the standard
bass; he says that the instrument is suprisingly short and doesn't even have
a neck.  Does anyone know what he's referring to???    I don't know why I
just thought of it.  I'd like to hear 32' notes coming from a rock group
even though I don't care for rock!

Get Your Private, Free Email at

Date: Sat, 04 Dec 1999 08:52:38 +0000
From: David Bobroff <>
Subject: technology and music (was Fibre-Cane reeds)

>If Charlie Parker were alive now, would he give up his old sax for an AKAI
wind synthesiser? Would Mozart give up his Grand for a Yamaha Clavinova?
Would Karr switch to a ZETA upright electric? Technology may be interesting
but it should stay out of music.

While I am not unsympathetic to the issues of the apparent technological
invasion of the arts, I do find myself reminded that in the last century a
similar complaint was made by horn players regarding the use of valves.
String instruments in use today that are centuries old have themselve been
altered (neck length, string material).

David Bobroff

Date: Sat, 04 Dec 1999 07:44:13 -0500
From: Daniel Martin <>
Subject: Fwd: Bass Guitar Speakers

>There are some raw drivers and systems both which will do justice to the
>"Zeroth" octave.  Physics is physics; big boxes buy you more efficiency
>but smaller boxes can be made to go very low at the price of
>"sensitivity".  I personally have built a subwoofer that has usable output
>(in a small room) below 20 Hz using just one single 6 1/2 inch woofer in a
>box less than one cubic foot volume with no equalization or servo feedback.
>Look at McCauley, they have some 18 inch proffesional woofers that can
>easily do 20 Hz at very loud levels.  Community and other quality vendors
>of professional loudspeakers have cabinets using dual 15 inch drivers that
>will go to below 32 Hz in a reasonably small box and do so without
>equalization.  If you have enough power and equalization, you can get
>really deep bass BUT the drivers are excursion limited (i. e. linear
>travel vs. non-linear, etc.).  What happens is; the more you try to push,
>the more distortion you will get.  If you use a "subwoofer" for the low
>end, use an active crossover network to roll off the top end (the steeper
>the slope, the better) so that the distortion products are not heard.  You
>can also actively filter the true "infrasonics" (say below 8 Hz) to remove
>stage rumble, etc.  Every system has a limit; sound pressure level vs.
>room size vs. room placement, etc. are all variables.  There is a real
>science to getting big, deep bass out of speakers but it can and has been
>done.  Bass "horn" cabinets are generally preffered over "ported" or
>closed boxes because of their higher efficiency.
>Have fun experimenting!
>Dan Martin,
>contra alto clarinet, bari. sax, bass guitar and speaker freak.


Date: Sat, 4 Dec 1999 10:31:37 -0500 (EST)
From: Carole Nowicke <>
Subject: Re: Fibre-Cane Reeds: Pro's and Con's
On Fri, 3 Dec 1999 wrote:

> I'm typing this because I saw recently a BARI fibre reed advertisement.
> It showed a reed in water. It said "Is this your idea of a perfect
> reed?" etc etc etc. I couldn't believe it! Reed-making is an art that
> has been honed and perfected over hundreds of years since the first

It's probably a plot by the US Drug Enforcement Agency.  I keep finding
references to the giant reed Arundo Donax having hallucinogenic
properties.  My own research has found no particular pattern in lunancy
among reed players, so I tend to think it's folklore rather than
pharmacologic research.

I sent someone a plant to grow because I can't grow it in my climate.  Not
that I have any need for reeds, the idea just appealed to me, and it's a
nice looking plant.

Carole Nowicke  <>


Date: Sat, 4 Dec 1999 14:36:07 -0700 (MST)
From: Shouryu Nohe <>
Subject: Re: Fibre-Cane Reeds: Pro's and Con's

On Sat, 4 Dec 1999 wrote:

> There is a "Greenline" Pro Clarinet made of a plastic (although
> impregnated with wood dust).

I feel it would be more accurate to say that the Greenline is made of wood
dust impregnated with plastics.  GLs are 90% wood, 10% resins and epoxies.

Satisfied Greenline Guy,

J. Shouryu Nohe
Professor of SCSM102, New Mexico State Univ.
"If I wanted a 'job,' I'd have gone music ED, thank you very much!"


Date: Sat, 4 Dec 1999 16:48:26 EST
Subject: Re: Oboe vs. Bassoon

Grant Green wrote,
>If you're a sax player, and someone hands you an oboe, it doesn't take long
to figure out.  Once you realize that your F fingering plays F#, and that Bb
and C are odd, and that the RH4 keys are backwards, and that your octave key
is no longer automatic, you're most of the way there. >

Oh, is *that* all?

> If you're a sax player, and someone hands you a bassoon, where do you

By handing it back?

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