Monday 2 March 2009

Woodwind Techniques Free Stuff Update

Yes, a couple final points for the time being (possibly) on woodwind techniques and non-standard fingerings etc, here is a great site for flute from the University of New South Wales, called the 'Virtual Flute'.

Also on the same site is lots of info about acoustics and some fingerings info (like clarinet multiphonics) for these instruments... flute, clarinet, saxophone, brass, didgeridoo, guitar, violin, voice (none as comprehensive as the virtual flute though unfortunately, apparently they are working on a clarinet one next, then possibly saxophone).

And, (wipes brow) check out Mats Möller's site with his 'New Sounds For Flute' section, featuring a quarter tone fingering chart and score/mp3 examples of various non-standard/extended techniques.

For clarinet, may I remind readers about E. Michael Richards's excellent site The Clarinet of the 21st Century, which I featured on this blog way back in April 2008. Lots of information about multiphonics and microtones and all sorts of stuff for the common sizes of clarinet (Bb Soprano*, Eb Sopranino, Bb Bass).

*seems to be some confusion about what to call the Bb and Eb clarinets, sometimes the Eb is called a soprano and the Bb just a Bb (as in Blatter's book) most often though, it's as I have listed it, Bb soprano, Eb sopranino (I think anyway).


Babette said...

Did you see the Robot clarinet on the New South Wales uni site -

They built it to examine how humans play the instrument and the techniques we use. Pretty high tech but at same time scientists don't seem to have grasped dynamic range.

Thanks for link to clarinet of 21st century, I've been wanting to find out how to play multiphonics but hadn't found any books/info etc.

(I've gotta stop reading your blog now and do some uni work - had to teach the crazyfrog song at school last week "crys in corner").

E.L. said...

Ive seen the robot thing before, interesting that it still sounds like a synth or something artificial even though it's acoustic (lack dynamic range being one major problem as you suggest)

That Clarinet of the 21st Century site is really good, definitely worth bookmarking.

Good luck with the uni work, sorry to hear about the school stuff, teach them some Xenakis instead, i'm half joking but also it could be do-able, show them how to draw music with High-C (modelled on Xenakis's UPIC machine), the basic version is free..(includes educational use apparently) and it will run on basic machines (best to work in small areas though, long and dense pieces tend to eat memory, did on my machine anyway).

Babette said...

That HighC package looks fantastic, thanks Ed :) I'm completely restricted as to what I can teach at the moment but hopefully after Easter I can get the kids doing some more interesting stuff. I think they'd really be into that, especially the boys. The interface is really user friendly too. I'll have a proper play around at the weekend:)

On a completely different note, but related to the woodwind post, I found a great place to get clarinet reeds. You can order online and they post them straight to you (thought you might be interested as I know there's only one music shop in Birmingham now). The web address is

E.L. said...

Glad you liked HighC, I agree with your point about the UI, I think he designed it with education in mind partly.

Re clarinet reeds, I need to get some soon, i've got reeds direct bookmarked in my browser but not used them yet, they seem the most popular outlet online (I got my alto sax from the shop they are connected to in cambridge.)

[clarinet geek talk] I've switched from Vandoren traditional to Rico Royal recently, they seem more consistent and they are good value (I think Vandoren 56's are my favourite but they are very expensive.)[/clarinet geek talk]

Babette said...

Rico Royal - shame on you! I've never liked them, they seem too thin and for me inconsistent in quality. Vandoren's are the way to go. (Bought a box the other day, used a new one for start of orchestra practise and split it right at the end. An expensive rehearsal!.) I'll have to check out the V56 one day though, thanks. (Nothing wrong with clarinet geek talk. It is the best instrument after all!).

E.L. said...

Hmm, Royals seem the better reed to me in terms of what you get in a box (when vandorens do work they work well however), ive got lots of Vandoren reeds and quite a few are no good, i'm still not much good at working on them either, sanding and clipping etc(it's rico orange box that are the ones to steer clear of.)

Babette said...

I've been playing clarinet on and off for 16 years and no one has ever told me about sanding and clipping reeds! I've just ordered a book off amazon, The Clarinet and Clarinet playing, which has a section on this, amongst other things. I seem to learn something new every time I read your blog Ed.

E.L. said...

i've got that clarinet book, can't remember what it says about preparing reeds, i'd have to get it down off the shelf (and it's under loads of other books so i'll leave it for now)

See how you get on with the info in it, I can send you other stuff about reed preparation if necessary (as I said, I haven't mastered it yet, I don't have a clipper but i've tried sanding some down a bit with limited success.)

Glad the info here is useful (I find it useful anyway, and storing it here means I don't lose interesting links and stuff.)