Pages 13-15

Page thirteen is entitled “List of the Principal Words used in Modern Music”. This is primarily a list of expressive terms and is important as a reference. It is generally well done but with a few oddities. He calls a fermata a pause. The word fermata doesn’t appear on the list. Harmony is defined as “In general, a combination of tones or chords, producing music.” This definition needs improving. And, Vibrato is “A wavering tone-effect which should be sparingly, used.” Paul de Ville’s prejudice showing up again in this definition.
This list is over 100 years ago and any revision should be updated to include more recent terms like: whole tone, pentatonic, modes, hemiola, blues, jazz, turn around, multiphonic, altissimo, avant garde, minimalism, quarter tone, polyrhythm, mixed meter, swing style to name a few.
Pages 14 and 15 are a thrown back to the 19th century. The title for this section is “How to Make Your Own Reeds”. It must have been easier to make reeds than find a retailer who sold them at the turn of the last century, Page 14 are instructions and page 15 are illustrative drawings of the process described on page 14. (I think that it is interesting to note that Paul de Ville used a clarinet mouthpiece for his illustrations rather than a saxophone mouthpiece) The instructions are a little vague, but if you decipher them, they work. I actually got tube cane split it, gouged it and made it into a playable reed. For the amount of time it took to make one reed, I could have earned enough money to buy several boxes of reeds.
More useful, would be instruction and diagrams on adjusting, breaking in and fine tuning the commercial reeds that are available.
Please share your thoughts on contemporary musical terms and your discoveries in reed care and adjustments.
Neal Ramsay

Published in: on September 22, 2009 at 6:43 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. The best method for fixing reeds is Riordan’s ATG method that uses sanding blocks, it will fix almost any reed.

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