[Dixielandjazz] Clarinet mutes

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sat Jul 17 13:34:59 PDT 2004

This from a chat list circa 1997. Why clarinet mutes? Why to practice
when on the road and staying in hotels of course. Note that the devices
described below must have fit over the entire clarinet in order to truly
mute the sound of DeFranco's ax. Seems to me those described below are
about the only kind that would really work.

Steve Barbone

From: "Cadenza " <Cadenza at -----.com>
Subj: RE: Practice mute
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 16:57:32 -0400

Yes I have seen clarinet mutes. It was a long time ago on TV. There was
some sort of swing band with the typical 5 reeds in front. I think it
was Kay Keyser (or one of the other "sweeter bands") For one piece all
of the sax players picked up clarinets and put on these megaphone shaped
mutes. There were inserts for the hands. Even at that time, I was
probably about 12, I
thought it was stupid and didn't seem to change the characteristics of
the clarinet sound all that much.

I expect they were made by the band leader and he probably took a
megaphone, put a bottom to it, and painted it white. I expect Buddy
DeFranco's was one of these. I don't think they were ever available


From: owner-klarinet at -----.net
Subject: Re: Practice mute

A friend once told me about a visit he made to Buddy DeFranco's hotel
when he was on the road. DeFranco had a device shaped like a megaphone
on a
folding stand which he played into allowing him to practice without
other guests. I don't know if this was a commercially available device
or of
DeFranco's own invention.

Frank Powers

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