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Author Topic: Double boehm system  (Read 321 times)

Offline LarryS

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Double boehm system
« on: February 15, 2021, 05:13:19 PM »
I just spotted this posted on a Facebook group.

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Online modernicus

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Re: Double boehm system
« Reply #1 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!
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 06:52:36 PM by modernicus »
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Online DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Double boehm system
« Reply #2 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.
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Offline Dibbs

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Re: Double boehm system
« Reply #3 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.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2021, 02:53:01 AM by Dibbs »

Offline LarryS

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Re: Double boehm system
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2021, 03:14:38 AM »
What is the point of that key with the little pin hole?
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Offline Dibbs

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Re: Double boehm system
« Reply #5 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.

Online modernicus

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Re: Double boehm system
« Reply #6 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
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Offline Dibbs

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Re: Double boehm system
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2021, 01:47:36 PM »
I knew I'd seen one without the side keys.  That must be it.

Offline Dibbs

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Re: Double boehm system
« Reply #8 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.

Offline LarryS

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Re: Double boehm system
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2021, 02:04:41 PM »
I believe oboes have a key like that, with a tiny pin hole in the centre
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Offline Dibbs

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Re: Double boehm system
« Reply #10 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.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2021, 02:31:32 PM by Dibbs »

Offline jdbassplayer

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Re: Double boehm system
« Reply #11 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.

Offline Dibbs

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Re: Double boehm system
« Reply #12 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.

Online DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Double boehm system
« Reply #13 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.
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Offline LarryS

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Re: Double boehm system
« Reply #14 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.
You don't stop playing when you get old, you get old when you stop playing.
My music blog:
The Music Tree


Clarinet Pages are go!