Comparison between internal and external clappers

Discussions on various technical aspects of carillon instruments and standards.

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Re: Comparison between internal and external clappers

Postby FrancesNewell on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:07 am

Indeed it is! I've listened to your video and watched it with great interest.
I'm still eager to hear your latest demonstration!
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Re: Comparison between internal and external clappers

Postby JohnGouwens on Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:06 pm

For those of you who don't know my "First Lesson at the Carillon" video, I offer the following link. It is an enormous file, because we were after a high sound quality, so you could really hear what was happening to the sound. I spend a whole lot of time on the staccato vs legato touch, starting at 9:42. If you have a great broadband connection, you can stream this; otherwise, download and find something else to do for awhile.
http://carillon.vrvisuals.com/FirstLesson.html

Here's my description of it, excerpted from "Playing the Carillon: An Introductory Method" (pub. GCNA, but (c) John Gouwens)

(following other commentary about technique . . )
The wrist is involved throughout, but most of the effort should consist of directing the weight of the arm through the wrist and hands to the keys. In louder playing, where the stroke must ultimately be rapid, it is often effective to commence with a more conspicuous forward motion, which will cause a more gradual acceleration at the beginning. It is much like the advice many piano teachers have given (not the least of whom was Rachmaninoff) in telling the student to “play into the piano.” On either instrument, the goal is a warm, resonant tone. As with piano technique there are occasions when a snappier “staccato” touch, with more emphasis on the wrist, is used, but on carillon in particular, it is more of a special effect: the resulting sound, particularly in the treble range, leads to a shorter decay time in the bells. The latter touch would be used when a more crisp effect is sought, particularly in music involving harmonic changes that would otherwise sound cloudy. Staccato touch is also often necessary for very rapid playing, especially at soft dynamic levels. The difference in the sound between the “staccato” touch and the more conventional arm-weight touch is often subtle. There are three examples in this book in which a staccato touch is useful: the Scherzetto (page 13), Polonaise (page 18), and the second In dulci jubilo setting (page 56). In the Handel Clock Music, Set 2, No. 6 (page 10), there are several places where the player should make a point to use a legato touch on longer melody notes; meanwhile, a shallow staccato touch should be used in the left hand. The quick, snappy touch used for a for a very short stroke (about one fourth of the distance the key travels) allows for rapid, soft playing as well as producing a shorter decay in the sound.
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Re: Comparison between internal and external clappers

Postby TerryMcGee on Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:12 am

Now, I've come up with a fiendish scheme to be able to compare total bell decays and total bell less the Hum decays, which will be useful in trying to detect changes in note length, as well as the impact of different clappers. That now gives us quite an armory of tools, so I thought it would be good to put up an article on that. You'll find quite a bit of what we've talked about above, but the new stuff as well. So have a look at it and see what you think.

Gideon, it does seem to reinforce my assertion that the sound made by the external clapper is dying out about twice as quickly as that made by the internal clapper. I've made a suggestion in the article about why that might be, but let's see if you find it persuasive.

Having (hopefully!) established an acceptable methodology using the boldly different sounds we hear on these clappers, I can then go ahead and look at John's more subtly-differing recordings.

http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/External_versus_Internal_clappers.htm

Let me know if you find any typos, clangers, etc!

Terry
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Re: Comparison between internal and external clappers

Postby JohnGouwens on Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:18 am

What about all those samples I sent you?
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Re: Comparison between internal and external clappers

Postby TerryMcGee on Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:56 am

They're next, providing we're all happy with the approach on calculating and presenting overall decay (Section 5 in the article). It makes sense to develop our understandings on the easily discernible (and there isn't much as easily discernible as my Bathurst recordings!), then shift to more subtle cases.

I thought I'd do your clapper too high vs clapper right height example next, as the sound difference is readily discernible. That will test the approach further. Then the some wear vs fresh face pair. I'm still not sure we can discern anything in the legato/staccato case, but by then I should have my techniques under control. Or have thrown them out the window in despair!

I think we can probably get away with just the Decay analysis (Section 4) and the Decay comparison (section 5), as between them they draw attention to any different partials, differing levels of the partials, differing decays of the partials and differing decay of the whole bell or whole bell less Hum. That's a pretty comprehensive analysis in only a few graphs. But let's see.

Terry
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Re: Comparison between internal and external clappers

Postby JohnGouwens on Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:02 am

I'll sure look forward to that. If it turns out that the "staccato" vs "legato" is a similar tonal "footprint" but with shorter decay characteristics, that isn't bad news at all.
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