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Clarinet Roadshow => All about Clarinets => Topic started by: LarryS on February 15, 2021, 05:13:19 PM

Title: Double boehm system
Post by: LarryS on February 15, 2021, 05:13:19 PM
I just spotted this posted on a Facebook group.

Title: Re: Double boehm system
Post by: modernicus on February 15, 2021, 06:50:19 PM
I'm familiar with these, but I have no idea how the system works-time for some research.  The poster is pretty cool, BTW, he does quite a few cool instrument mods, repairs, builds, etc...not surprised he has something cool like this!
Title: Re: Double boehm system
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on February 17, 2021, 11:29:32 PM
Honestly looks identical to a regular Boehm except for the plateau'd first key.

Seems like it doesn't do much for you except give you that little pinhole on the first pad, a la bass clarinet.
Title: Re: Double boehm system
Post by: Dibbs on February 18, 2021, 02:38:42 AM
Honestly looks identical to a regular Boehm except for the plateau'd first key.

Seems like it doesn't do much for you except give you that little pinhole on the first pad, a la bass clarinet.

Look again.  There are 2 holes and pad cups under the (rather long) A key.   T X00 000 plays Eb,  T0X0 000 plays E natural.  The intervals are thus the same in both hands hence the name.

I can't see for sure but it looks like there's no connexion so long Bb is out.

Some of these had no side keys at all and were missing the Eb/Bb cross key. 

Maybe @jdbassplayer will drop by and tell us more about it.
Title: Re: Double boehm system
Post by: LarryS on February 18, 2021, 03:14:38 AM
What is the point of that key with the little pin hole?
Title: Re: Double boehm system
Post by: Dibbs on February 18, 2021, 11:22:10 AM
I'm not entirely sure because I've never actually played one and don't quite know how the mechanism works.  Most likely it's for the altissimo - C# and up.  My guess is that raising the LH index finger for those notes probably causes something else to open on these instruments and it behaves as a tone hole rather than a register hole.  They fixed it with this key, the same solution as is used on the bass clarinet.
Title: Re: Double boehm system
Post by: modernicus on February 18, 2021, 12:59:38 PM
Here's an older post I found here about one:
https://clarinetpages.info/smf/index.php?topic=997.0
Title: Re: Double boehm system
Post by: Dibbs on February 18, 2021, 01:47:36 PM
I knew I'd seen one without the side keys.  That must be it.
Title: Re: Double boehm system
Post by: Dibbs on February 18, 2021, 02:00:38 PM
... and we have the silver saucer characteristically wittering at length about an instrument he's never heard of before.  I wonder what happened to him.
Title: Re: Double boehm system
Post by: LarryS on February 18, 2021, 02:04:41 PM
I believe oboes have a key like that, with a tiny pin hole in the centre
Title: Re: Double boehm system
Post by: Dibbs on February 18, 2021, 02:28:52 PM
I believe oboes have a key like that, with a tiny pin hole in the centre

Yes, but for a slightly different reason.  On oboe it's primarily a register vent for middle C# D and Eb.

Saxophones could potentially use it for the same purpose but I've never seen it.  The middle D is always sharp and/or weak.
Title: Re: Double boehm system
Post by: jdbassplayer on February 19, 2021, 06:20:58 AM
Let me clarify how the key work functions. The lower joint is standard Boehm system. The only difference is that there is no linkage to the upper joint as there is no need for an alternate Eb. For the upper joint, Eb is fingered xoo|ooo. E can either be fingered oxo|ooo or by playing an Eb and using the first trill key or the sliver key. F is normal but F# can either be played with the first or second finger.

The plate with the vent hole is there to help with the altissimo like on bass clarinet. This is needed because the first finger tone hole is now a semi tone lower, meaning it is less effective to just lift the index finger. The plate is connected to the third finger ring so it will close automatically when you play an altissimo note.
Title: Re: Double boehm system
Post by: Dibbs on February 19, 2021, 01:37:06 PM
Let me clarify how the key work functions. The lower joint is standard Boehm system. The only difference is that there is no linkage to the upper joint as there is no need for an alternate Eb. For the upper joint, Eb is fingered xoo|ooo. E can either be fingered oxo|ooo or by playing an Eb and using the first trill key or the sliver key. F is normal but F# can either be played with the first or second finger.

The plate with the vent hole is there to help with the altissimo like on bass clarinet. This is needed because the first finger tone hole is now a semi tone lower, meaning it is less effective to just lift the index finger. The plate is connected to the third finger ring so it will close automatically when you play an altissimo note.


Ah! So it's arguably better than the usual bass clarinet mechanism where you roll your index finger forwards.  Thanks Jared. 

It's a really good system but I think would be hard to learn.  No other woodwind I know of has anything similar.
Title: Re: Double boehm system
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on February 21, 2021, 12:22:08 AM
It's a really good system but I think would be hard to learn.  No other woodwind I know of has anything similar.

That sentiment reminds me of the infamous McIntyre system. It was hard to learn, unwieldy, and unlike anything else in the world at the time.

The idea was sound - create a key system with perfect-pitched throat tones.

Execution was superb - high quality Thibouville construction led to great instruments.

Result - a top-heavy, hard to learn, and unintuitive experiment that died in 2 years.

I am convinced that if people gave the McIntyre Bros a chance it could have been something incredible. Imagine - an articulated (central C#/G#) clarinet with McIntyre throat-tones, and maybe even a touch of Mazzeo.

Clarinets could have evolved into another dimension. Unfortunately, modern clarinets (all of them! far as I can tell) are constrained by 200+ year old conventions that really constrict the musical dimension.

The only modifications we can find in common, modern productions clarinets is the Schrieber - I believe they produce a side register key. Amazing.
Title: Re: Double boehm system
Post by: LarryS on February 21, 2021, 04:09:26 AM
It would be fun to see a slide key mechanism for easy glisses. There is such a device for flutes allowing players to slide the note they're playing. Quite cool.
Title: Re: Double boehm system
Post by: tyleman on February 21, 2021, 06:05:32 AM
I believe the double boehm clarinets were made by Leblanc as the inventor worked for them.

Excerpt from "The Clarinet": "A fingering system patented in 1948 by Charles Houvenaghel (1878-1966), of Leblanc. In this system the lower joint is that of a normal Boehm system clarinet. On the upper join there is a plateay key for L1 which, when depressed along with L0, produces Eb4 (rather than E4, as on the normal Boehm system.) This means that the pattern of intervals produced by each hand is the same: a whole step followed by a half step. On the double-Boehm, E4 is produced by L0 and L2. The plateau key is also pierced with a small hole, to facilitate the pitches of the altissimo register. The instrument had refinements of tone hole size and shape and omitted the bridge key between the upper and lower joints."

More info here (in French): https://clariboles-et-cie.blogspot.com/2009/05/pas-de-panique-de-nouvelles-pages-sur.html
Title: Re: Double boehm system
Post by: windydankoff on February 21, 2021, 06:47:41 AM
Wow, what a great link to a magnificent resource!
Homepage: https://clariboles-et-cie.blogspot.com

In upper right you can select your language of choice, and Google translates.
   The "Puppy Museum" has me wagging my tail!
Title: Re: Double boehm system
Post by: modernicus on February 21, 2021, 11:00:22 AM
Wow, what a great link to a magnificent resource!
Homepage: https://clariboles-et-cie.blogspot.com

In upper right you can select your language of choice, and Google translates.
   The "Puppy Museum" has me wagging my tail!

Ah yes, I know that blog, very cool.  I have another few resources I have found I can post up soon, one similar to this- where some pics of mine and this board get a mention!