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Messages - kehammel

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All about Clarinets / Re: Do jazz players favour double lip?
« on: June 06, 2022, 11:32:00 AM »
He's playing with the reed on the bottom. I only mentioned playing with it on top because it shows that double lip must have come before single lip. Possibly some current players of baroque clarinet or chalumeau might try having the reed on top, but I haven't heard of any examples so far.

All about Clarinets / Re: Do jazz players favour double lip?
« on: May 31, 2022, 07:12:09 AM »
Double lip embouchure is the way the clarinet was played when it was invented in the 1700s. It was also common to play with the mouthpiece rotated so the reed was on top, for which a single lip embouchure is impossible. Playing with the reed on top was mostly abandoned in the 1800s, although some Italian players continued doing it until the early 1900s. Also in the 1800s, the German player Klose advocated using a single lip embouchure instead of double lip, and most players worldwide gradually switched to it. A summary of the history can be found here:


Some classical players still use double lip, and you can find videos online advocating it- for example, the maker Tom Ridenour likes it and refers to it as French embouchure.

I don't know what proportion of jazz players use double lip. I do use it myself and find single lip awkward.

I recently bought one of these (see https://sites.google.com/clarinetpages.net/clarinetpages/others/albert-system-clarinets/penzel-mueller/penzel-mueller-improved-albert-system), because I really like my Penzel-Mueller regular Albert. I wanted the alternate left hand E flat/G sharp key and was curious how much better the clarinet's intonation might be. Also, I had been on the lookout for a used German system clarinet with similar keywork, such as a Hammerschmidt, but hadn't found one.

It sounds great, but I was intrigued to find that it is not really an Albert system horn. The bore does not start to widen just below the bottom F/C key as in Albert clarinets. Instead, it is cylindrical (0.58" dia.) almost down to the bell. My Penzel-Mueller regular Albert is actually an Albert, having 0.58" for the top joint and 0.63" just below the bottom F/C key.

As is well known, even regular Penzel-Mueller Alberts were influenced by German system design. They have 5 rings and the wraparound register key is near the 10 o'clock position rather than being at the top.

In the case of their Improved Albert, the makers seem to have gone full German. Not only is the bore German system, but the horn has 6 rings and also has the forked F/B flat correction key that closes when the 5th ring is depressed for E/A.

"Improved Albert" seems to have been a term Penzel and Mueller coined for marketing. I wonder if they were attempting to compete with the Selmer Improved Albert clarinets that many jazz players liked. Perhaps these Selmers, being made in France rather than by German-American immigrants, actually were Alberts?

Make and Model lists and research / Re: pustopone clarinet
« on: February 18, 2022, 04:07:42 PM »
Hello super20dan. Does it play easily at A440? I'm asking because German concert pitch was A444 or sometimes as high as A446 in the mid-twentieth century, which is when Püstophon clarinets were made.

You are correct that it was a brand in its own right. I believe it was made in the factory of Hans Kreul. It was the product of a collaboration between two makers, Püchner (a name more associated with bassoons) and Stowasser. Thus the name: pü + sto + phon. Even Germans find the name somewhat amusing, since "pusten" (without the umlaut) means "to blow" in German.

Make and Model lists and research / Re: Who made this Albert clarinet?
« on: January 22, 2021, 06:36:32 PM »
Thanks, Modernicus. I replied to you on the other forum...

Make and Model lists and research / Who made this Albert clarinet?
« on: January 17, 2021, 07:59:05 AM »
The name on it, "Drouelle, Paris" seems to be some kind of stencil. Does anyone more knowledgeable than I am have an idea who might have made it based on the keywork?

What a great find, Modernicus. I downloaded the index (Patronyms et noms communs) and searched the PDF for various clarinet makes. I have a Barbier Albert system clarinet, and as expected, F. Barbier is there as a subsidiary of Selmer. It's also no surprise that neither Gunckel, Lacroix, nor Dujardin are mentioned. As discussed elsewhere, these were never real companies, and the actual makers of those clarinets remain a mystery.

I've just bought (but not yet received) another Albert clarinet marked "Drouelle, Paris," and there's no mention of that name either. I had never heard of Drouelle, but it's evidently one more fictitious brand to add to the list.

All about Clarinets / Re: Albert system, position of throat F sharp vent
« on: January 11, 2021, 01:10:20 PM »
Hello Windsong. A few of the Alberts on Phil's Clarinet Pages have this feature, for example this Kohlert:


Someone on the (ahem) other clarinet forum mentioned, when I asked the same question, that having the A key close the F# vent improves throat A and B flat in the same way that resonance fingerings do, and this is why Oehler adopted this design for his clarinets.


All about Clarinets / Albert system, position of throat F sharp vent
« on: January 07, 2021, 05:26:08 PM »
On many Alberts with two rings on the top joint, there is an open key between the rings that brings up the pitch of the throat F sharp. I gather the purpose of the rings and attached vent is to allow this note to be played with the thumb only, which is easier than the thumb + side F key fingering that works best on Alberts with no top joint rings. The rings close this vent key for most other notes, but the vent stays open for the other throat tones G through B flat.

What I'm wondering about is an alternate arrangement I've seen pictures of, in which the vent is above the top ring, and is covered with a small plate that is attached to this ring. It looks like the rings close this vent as usual but operating the throat A key also closes it. I guess this is supposed to keep the throat A from being sharp? But is the open G then in tune with this vent moved higher up the joint as it is?

On one of my Alberts, which has the vent between the top joint rings, I don't notice much difference in the pitch correctness of throat G vs throat A. And on the other, which has no top joint rings and no F# vent besides the side F key, the problem seems to be the reverse: the throat A is flat and the G# key needs to be opened to bring it up to pitch. So I'm wondering what problem they were trying to solve on horns that have the throat A key close the F# vent. Was moving the vent up and having the A key close it regarded as an improvement? I've been told Oehlers have this arrangement, by the way.

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