Mac Music  |  Pc Music  |  440 Audio Software  |  440Forums  |  440tv  |  Zicos  |  AudioLexic


From AudioLexic

Jump to: navigation, search

Altissimo refers to the uppermost register on woodwind instruments. For clarinets, which overblow on odd harmonics, the altissimo notes are those based on the fifth, seventh, and higher harmonics. For other woodwinds, the altissimo notes are those based on the third, fourth, and higher harmonics. The altissimo register is also known as the high register.

[edit] Flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon

On the Boehm system flute, the first altissimo note, d''', is played using the third harmonic of G. Fourth harmonics are used for e'''♭ through a'''♭, and notes from a''' through c'''' are played with fifth or sixth harmonics.

On the oboe, third harmonics are mainly used.

On clarinets, fifth harmonics are used for the first half dozen notes above (written) c'''; seventh and ninth harmonics are used beyond that.

For bassoons, the altissimo notes bear complicated harmonic relationships to the fundamental register.

[edit] Saxophone

see also: Altissimo section in Saxophone article

In classical music, altissimo playing is considered a necessary skill for professional saxophonists, and much of the modern concert saxophone repertoire utilizes the altissimo range. A notable proponent of the altissimo range was Sigurd Raschèr, who preferred the term top tones.

In jazz music, use of altissimo is common, especially among avant-garde players. Altissimo technique and the use of multiphonics are prominent in the influential work of Eric Dolphy and John Coltrane during the 1960s.

For example, it is possible to finger a low B♭ (the lowest note on the instrument) and by changing the configuration of the tongue and throat blow the full overtone series of the low B♭ (middle B♭, middle F, high B♭, high D, high F, and so on.)

Here are some examples on saxophone (all utilize the octave key):

  • High F♯: front f (left index finger) + left middle finger + side B♭ key
  • High F♯: left index finger + left middle finger + right index finger + side B♭ key
  • High G: front f (left index finger) + side B♭ key.
  • High G: left index finger + right first finger + side C key
  • High A: finger a middle-d and lift the left index finger. This is an easier altissimo note.

Practicing overtones is the secret to altissimo. A large spectrum of overtones to be practiced without moving the fingers from low B♭, B, C, and C♯.

This article was started using a Wikipedia article
Personal tools
In other languages