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MMD > Archives > January 2000 > 2000.01.18 > 04Prev  Next

Material for Wind Instruments
By Hans van Oost

Dear MMD'ers,  The more I read about wind instruments and organ
pipes made of unconventional materials, the more I grow convinced
that tradition plays a major part in designing musical instruments
and organ pipes.  [000117 MMDigest]

Clarinets made of brass were made here in Europe until just a few
years ago.  One of the makers was Amati, in Kraslice, Czechoslovakia.
They may have been considered bad by some players, but the reason
may have been that they were not built very well.  When you make an
instrument of materials that are new to it, you'd better make a very
good one, because all problems will be put down to the material.

Clarinets made of plastics have never grown popular, mainly because
they were made in quantities as cheap beginners models. Selmer, of
Paris, is making clarinets of artificial materials (probably just a
good plastic) and they seem to be as good as the granadilla wood
instruments, but they are not cheaper.  Further, I know of plastic
and papier-mache bassoons, horns and Sousaphones with plastic bells,
and even plastic oboe reeds!

Organ pipes seem to have been made of all kinds of wood, plywood,
MDF board, bamboo, plastics, perspex, glass, porcelain, stoneware,
concrete (!), cardboard, and all kinds of metals.  The materials do
not seem to matter, but the durability and ease of making and voicing
them does.  (However, as a tuba player, I would never buy myself one
of those plastic sousaphones.)

Hans van Oost, Netherlands

 [ Tradition plays a major part with musicians, too!  ;)  -- Robbie

(Message sent Tue 18 Jan 2000, 21:49:56 GMT, from time zone GMT+0100.)

Key Words in Subject:  Instruments, Material, Wind

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