Re: Re: B&S 4P

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Posted by js on May 29, 2003 at 23:38:12:

In Reply to: Re: B&S 4P posted by Alex C on May 29, 2003 at 22:37:05:

Yep. I guess I was a bit put off by the W.W.A-J.D. stuff offered to me from the vendor (as if I were the 10th grader trying to deal with the A=450 tuba, rather than the person trying to help solve the problem) - prior to their complete expression of willingness to cooperate. All I asked them to do was to help out the buyer by trying to order the parts that I suggested would be the best fix - when the kid's mom eventually calls them on the phone about the problem.
Beginning of another controversial thread:

I'm not sure that you and I agree, but I think we might. I find that the "air message" is all that many glean from the A-J legacy. Thus, I hear quite a few tuba players with these marvelously athletic breathing abilities (and breathing gadgets to prove it) who offer not-very-pleasant sounds from their instruments. I think I've even seen a new "tuba breathing" video for sale based on some remarks made by A-J at a video-taped clinic.

Yeah, air is "necessary" to make a sound come out of a tuba, but one can't actually expect to "fill up" a tuba with air...uhh, shortly after the very beginning of the instrument, the tuba is already larger in diameter than the source of the air. The air in the tuba (btw, ALREADY IN THERE before we blow new air into it) is actually moving extremely slowly by the time some of the air blown into the instrument reaches the bell opening. The air in the tuba is NOT "the sound". Rather the air is the tranmitter of sympathetic vibrations that are vibrating "in sympathy" with those generated by the lips (and "colored" by lip shape, interior mouth shape, toungue position, and throat shape). If great volumes of air had to be wildly moving in order for a tuba to make a sound, how could we possibly hear anyone speak to us from the other side of a large room full of still air?

When a "shower stall Caruso" finds "that magic note" that makes the whole bathroom seem to resonate like Carnegie Hall (sympathetic vibration) he is not "filling up the bathroom with air". Tubas work basically the same way as the the bathroom shower stall. Bathroom shower stalls are about eight feet tall. When someone finds "that magic [eight foot long] note", the shower stall's (already in place) column of air goes "YEAH!" Our tubas do the same thing when we (happen to use air to) vibrate our lips. We have valves than can make our tubas all sorts of different lengths that all can go "YEAH!"

Slightly digressional here, when we try to force a 15-3/4 feet long tuba to vibrate an A=440 C, it's damn hard to do, because an A=440 reference C is actually just about exactly 16 (or division thereof) feet long. By the time we distort our breathing, lips, throat, or toungue enough to trick the 15-3/4 feet long air column into making a 16 feet long sounding C, the sound (and the player, physically) both suffer greatly.

Seemingly (unlike the days of Amsden, Arban, Bell, et al) little relative attention is paid, these days, to embouchure shaping and control of the beauty and resonance of the sound from the source of the vibration as opposed to "AIR - AIR - AIR - NOTHING BUT AIR!!!!!!!!"

Joe "The hand that cranks the homemade ice cream maker is necessary, but not at all responsible for the richness of the flavor and body of the texture." S.

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