Author Topic: Squidward from Spongebob plays the taragato  (Read 60 times)

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Squidward from Spongebob plays the taragato
« on: January 25, 2019, 06:05:53 PM »
Those of you familiar with Spongebob no doubt are familiar with the continuing trope of Squidward being a terrible clarinet player.

But what instrument does he actually play?

The most common image of Squidwards clarinet shows a black, keyless instrument with a heavily conical bore construction. Each tone hole appears to be metal, and the instrument has a two rings - one near the bell and one near the barrel.

This is a bit odd. The clarinet, keyless or not, does not have such a harshly conical bore. It cannot be a soprano saxophone due not only to lack of keys, but also to the color. It is obvious a black colored wood, or plastic, and thus we can rule out a saxophone.

What about a keyless shawm? Convincing at first, but the shawm obviously has a double-reed instead of a mouthpiece. Most representations of Squidward's clarinet show what appears to be a mouthpiece. For that reason we can rule out a shawm.

The only instrument left that could possibly cover all of these bases is a for of keyless taragato with metal tone hole inserts. Metal tone hole inserts are not unknown, as some Simple System clarinets have (for some reason) metal tone hole inserts flush with the body.

I propose the Squidward's "clarinet" is, in fact, a very early taragato.
By the 19th century, taragatos had keys, so this places the instrument between the 17th and mid-19th centuries.
The material is likely ebony with either metal or ivory rings near the barrel and bell. I would lean towards ivory due to the age of the instrument.
To explain the tone hole inserts, I believe that the since Bikini Bottom is underwater, wooden tone holes would be sensitive to water temperature changes, and would expand and contract too much for it to work well. By an aftermarket addition of metal tone hole inserts, the tone holes can be stabilized in the saltwater environment.

Although Squidward is ridiculed for his poor playing skills, it's not his fault. Remember that he is playing on a possibly 300-400 year old wooden instrument under the sea. He's just doing the best he can with an ancient family heirloom.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 06:21:19 PM by DaveLeBlanc »
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Offline Airflyte

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Re: Squidward from Spongebob plays the taragato
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2019, 08:04:05 PM »
Taragato it is then!  Thanks Dave.

Case closed.

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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Squidward from Spongebob plays the taragato
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2019, 08:21:01 PM »
Is it too obvious that I really had nothing else to do tonight?
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Offline Dibbs

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Re: Squidward from Spongebob plays the taragato
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2019, 04:56:57 AM »
...
What about a keyless shawm? Convincing at first, but the shawm obviously has a double-reed instead of a mouthpiece. Most representations of Squidward's clarinet show what appears to be a mouthpiece. For that reason we can rule out a shawm.

The only instrument left that could possibly cover all of these bases is a for of keyless taragato with metal tone hole inserts. Metal tone hole inserts are not unknown, as some Simple System clarinets have (for some reason) metal tone hole inserts flush with the body.

I propose the Squidward's "clarinet" is, in fact, a very early taragato.
By the 19th century, taragatos had keys, so this places the instrument between the 17th and mid-19th centuries.
...

The early tárogató had had a double reed just like a shawm.  The single reed mouthpiece came at the same time that keys were added by Schunda and Stowasser.

I think it's one of these



Offline BLMonopole

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Re: Squidward from Spongebob plays the taragato
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2019, 12:24:02 PM »
As long as Squidward can still be my mascot and spirit animal, I'm fine with this.....

Offline LarryS

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Re: Squidward from Spongebob plays the taragato
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2019, 01:48:24 PM »
Errm its a cartoon...
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Offline BLMonopole

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Re: Squidward from Spongebob plays the taragato
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2019, 02:46:17 PM »
Yes, of course it's a cartoon character...

...and so are most of the people on this board. (Jus' sayin')

Offline mechanic

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Re: Squidward from Spongebob plays the taragato
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2019, 02:52:51 PM »
Image result for Galaxy Quest meme
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Squidward from Spongebob plays the taragato
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2019, 04:34:46 PM »
I self identify as an animated squid
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Squidward from Spongebob plays the taragato
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2019, 04:35:51 PM »
Errm its a cartoon...

In all seriousness, I think the theory that he's playing a taragato might explain why he is ridiculed for being a terrible player.

How many of us can pick up a 400 year old instrument and play well?
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages