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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello nice people! Here I propose to discuss the clarinet with existing system, that is Boehm, but also Oehler, Albert and the others.


Here I check if the overtones of the tone holes explain the altissimo fingerings. That is, the musician opens isolated tone holes where the air column has a pressure node, plus many holes below the main transition.

This model works perfectly at the Boehm flute. It even explains which notes are less stable, and what the split E does
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The huge tone holes lie near to the theoretical positions and their overtone waves resemble that of a cylinder. Easy.

The clarinet has narrower tone holes at the throat, I believe to keep losses uniform over the register change and to ease the altissimo. This shifts the tone holes upwards, so they aren't at the pressure nodes at the overtones. The clarinet's bore is slightly polyconical to improve the intonation, and the flare is long. Plus, the susceptance by the reed varies more over the range than by the flute's blowhole.

Here are altissimo fingerings compared with the overtones of the tone holes. Mistakes aren't excluded. I picked the first fingering for each note from Buffet-Crampon

Colorfulness Rectangle Slope Font Parallel

  • The general idea isn't bad.
  • The clarinet has more holes closed at rest, fingers can't open them all.
  • 1L half-open to destroy lower resonances is ill-placed for H7 to H11. The soprano clarinets accepts that, the bass has a special hole. The Marchi system adds a 17th key at the barrel.
  • Smaller holes seat higher on the air column, but they often serve for their exact harmonic, unexpectedly.
  • Using ill-placed holes adjusts the altissimo intonation. The clarinet accepts some resulting loss, the flute doesn't.
Would someone tell what touchpiece moves what cup at the oboe please? Some sort of diagram from the Web. I'd repeat the analysis for that instrument with smaller holes.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy


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