Timbre

Exploring Clarinet Timbre

I pulled out my Clarinet and wanted to see what Clarinet tone looked like in Timbre.
 
The Lowest E in the Chalumeau register looks like:
 
 
So there’s a nice strong harmonic at the B (5th) and some intriguing harmonics at a little under G#, a little above D, and about F#. 
 
A low G in the Chalumeau register: 
Interestingly, one of the harmonics has disappeared. With this note, we’d expect a harmonic around A, if the pattern is the same. Evidently, it isn’t.
One interesting thing was that the harmonic sizes could be varied by volume and embouchure. 
 
Then Middle C
This note has a different character to the lower notes of the clarinet, which probably corresponds to the reduced strength of the harmonic at a little under Bb.
 
Bb
This note is one of the weakest on the clarinet, and often sounds thin. This is as rich a tone as I could get on the day, and the harmonics at a 5th and major 3rd are present.
 
C in the Clarion Register
 
This is only a semitone above the Bb, but over the “break” of the clarinet. The harmonic at the 5th is noticeably stronger.
 
G
Notes in this register sound a little less rich than the lower registers. There are less visible harmonics. It’s hard to know how of this effect is the tone of my playing and what influence the quality of the microphone of the phone has.
 
Insane C
This is not a sensible note. But it is as high as I know the fingering for. I even got it in tune! (mostly). As you’d expect the tone is not terribly rich up in the crazy high register.
 
Some interesting questions I have after doing this are:
  • What effect does the harmonics that don’t fall on even notes have on chords played with other instruments?
  • Can I tell the difference between good tone and bad tone?
 
 
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