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This article, by Clark Fobes, firstname.lastname@example.org was posted Klarinet in August 1996.
Nomenclature describing the physical components of clarinet and saxophone mouthpieces has always been a very uncertain and even confusing subject. Even those of us who make mouthpieces do not use the same terms to describe the complex interior and exterior shapes of the mouthpiece. Far more individualized is the "system" of mouthpiece facings. Any mouthpiece maker wants to set himself apart from the next fellow. This is the nature of creative art, but I agree that in some cases a facing name resembles a rune more than a systematic means of information.
But let's start with the parts that can be more or less agreed upon. The following nouns that describe the integral parts of the mouthpiece are a part of the standard nomenclature used by mouthpiece makers. I have indicated with an * the words that I use that may not be a part of the common language, but that I have heard from some of the masters such as David Hite, Everett Matsen and Glen Johnston.
Instead of using an alphabetical system, I will break the mouthpiece down into general areas. Within each group heading will be the physical elements that pertain to that specific area.
Notes on Tip opening measurement
In the US we have developed an odd system of measuring tip openings in 100ths of a millimeter. For example, a typical Everett Matsen facing is 102 (on his gauge!) which is 1.02mm. Some mouthpiece makers use a the standard of 1000ths of an inch. One of David Hite's standard facings is decribed as .41" There are approximately 2.5 100ths of a mm to every 1000th of an inch. To convert Hites number into the metric system multiply 41 x 2.5. The result is 102.5 or 1.025mm
Although almost everyone has played on a Vandoren mouthpiece at some point in her or his life, there are other sources.
Dr. Stanley Geidel has advice about choosing the right mouthpiece available from the Online Clarinet Resource
Mouthpiece Manufacturers: ( indicates a www.woodwind.org sponsor)
1Stop Clarinet and Sax Shop
Albert Alphin Wind Instruments, Inc
Emil Anello Mouthpieces
j. j. Babbitt
Bay-Gale Woodwind Products
Peter Eaton Clarinets
Clark W. Fobes Clarinet Products
A. M. Gigliotti, Inc.
Jewel Music Products
Bas de Jong
Lomax Classic Mouthpieces/The Woodwind Corner
Mike Vaccaro Sax and Clarinet Mouthpieces
Fred Rast Mouthpieces
Runyon Products, Inc.
Henri Selmer et Cie
Gregory Smith Mouthpieces
Gregory Smith Mouthpieces
Vaccaro and Stevens Woodwinds
Hans Zinner GmbH & Co. KG
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