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parabolic bore

geo,

In Benade's Fundamentals of Musical Accoustics, he says that in order to preserve a desireable frequency ratio, woodwinds are limited in the types of air columns (bores) that are musically useful. He then names the "cylindrical pipe (e.g. clarinet) and the straight-sided cone (e.g. saxophones)..." So...you could be correct, but there isn't an arguement that even a supposed parabolic bore Buescher has for one side a straight-sided cone. The other, key-holed side of the bore is the point of contention. Also, it's possible that Benade a) didn't know of the possibility that early saxophones supposedly had said parabolic bores, or b) used modern straight-sided cone saxophones.

Also, to address your point that curved bore walls might be a "Bad Thing", Benade, in that very same book, says, "The net result [of having curves and bends in tubing] is that the speed of sound is increased within the bend, and it also has a slightly lowered wave impendence. Moreover, at the junction of the curved and straight pipe segments, one can have several types of wave reflections." This would include the entire bore of a saxophone with one side a straight cone and the other a parabolic cone and herein lies the reason why vintage saxophone purist like playing older horns. All of this is resting on the thoery that vintage instruments have a parabolic bore, but I firmly believe that they do. Sorry about the lengthy post.
I have a 2006 copy of John-Edward Kelly's pamphlet, and enjoy playing the type 3 or type 4 Buescher. Unfortunately, I'm not at all versed in the science of John-Edward's, though find the notion of a parabolic bore and Kelly's aeronautical training, intriguing.
So, I sometimes wonder if anyone would think of a cast and/or forged, hardened aluminum, parabolic bore saxophone?

Were we a more benign version of our own species, perhaps musical instrument design and production would ascend to a technological level more akin to what now gets devoted to an increasingly gadget oriented culture & society; and what seems unfortunate, a whole world lived within whatever production parameters are required to serve humanity as a whole, within such restricted parameters as our current degree of social evolution allows.

Versus a more evolved attempt at making form follow function..rather than what seems the obvious now, of design having to tag along as the poorest of relations scraping by, by darning up the various points of greatest abrasion-while the whole caterwalling world, goes that's way..much as the sole direction of the criminal mind as simply put, is a search amounting to a plea for effective discipline.

I have owned and played a number of fine saxophones; not unlike my experience owning cars; where an inexpensive though highly serviceable used car, in time becomes a prized collector's item with a price tag no one anything like a "normal" person could ever afford.

With now apparently fine saxophones selling inexpensively so to speak, due the relative economy of where these instruments are produced: not unlike the evolution of production, designating where and when the latest crop of reasonably acquired saxophones may come from-with a very likely caveat, that regions of active saxophone production are likely to produce the finest saxophonists and the finest music for the instrument too. Eventually, and ultimately.

So, I would like a world given to collectively contrived pandemic solutions; and similarly, saxophones having no doubt about themselves, no?

Anyway, given classical saxophonist Harvey Pittel's notion, about the future of the saxoohone; the wait for the rational evolution of the saxophone, seems likely to stymie those looking more for answers rather than questions.

One experience during 1973, found me recording an "informance" done by Harvey Pittel, then professor of saxophone at the University of Southern California..an "informance" as his whole northwest tour then was arranged, was to provide a more guided introduction to the classical saxophone and that's music by Pittel's informed dialogue about the instrument.

What then struck me, was Pittel's comparison of the historic violin with the saxophone: saying the horn's evolution is about five hundred years behind that of the violin.

I do enjoy having gotten to know and play quite a few interesting saxophones, as well as the similarly involved search for an instrument to play.

What is curious, is the reflection of the saxophone or another musical instrument as "subject" of that's own "object."

Thus, I think that ultimately music will most contribute what is necessary to evolve an instrument to that's potential.

I mean; I also greatly prize the saxophones currently produced in India, that are exceedingly simple while also designed for inexpensive maintenance too. A curved soprano in my hands during 2004 for $114 was an amazingly musical device, with a wealth of sonority whose mouthpiece alone was worth the purchase price of the whole saxophone. Developed and sold by a company first organized to grow musical quality reed cane in India, they do successfully very nicely.

Anyone, willing to speculate on India's musical evolution for the coming half a millennia? Where both saxophone and clarinet are popular, and the brass instruments too...wow.

I like Balkan Romani music, also a fine current evolution of the art of saxophone and clarinet. Much an improvisor's idiom too, with single dance tunes that can last as much as six hours for dance parties from dusk to dawn and beyond.
Bulgaria's greatest alto saxophonist Yuri Yunakov also Bulgaria's middleweight boxing champion for three years running in the early 1970s: is the person said to've been who Frank Zappa had in mind, in the comment "music is taken more seriously in Europe than in 'the states' "

Phew: Before I got encouraged a second time, to follow my dreams; I had developed a habit using the I-Ching for divination: within which I found koan like advice. The same hexagram for "music," is also that for "enthusiasm" which can end up intelligence too often garnered by hindsight, as one tries to accept evolution rationally.

Thus, I am intrigued greatly by this concept of a parabolic bore; which if poetic licence or licentiousness, I guess a person must explore alone..does anyone know of the Conn "M" action, being adapted to the parabolic bore horn? That would seem the ultimate of what are current conceptions of design? And, besides those "parabolic bore" Buescher, are other saxophones also made using a parabolic bore? And, could the parabola of the bore be opposite the tone chimneys? That would seem easier than creating the parabola within the tone holes and action?

What having picked up a $400 gold-plated 1930 Buescher alto in 1997 has done for my saxophonist's soul. Since these horns are known as "partially parabolic" I wonder whether any fully parabolic saxophones were produced, that would seem so; at least by the way Bueschers are described as "partially parabolic."
 

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If you go to this main site you will be able to navigate within the site's frame to pages showing measurements of bores. There is also quite a bit of discussion about historical bore design.


I post this page in isolation because it seems relevant and I'm not sure navigating to it through the main site would be obvious:

A Straighter Cone

One pathway to bore experimentation is the making of wooden saxophones as trial pieces.

You are right that musical evolution drives instrument innovation. I suspect the way you are dividing the economic and cultural problem into categories and a framework may not get to the root issues involved. One factor that has to be taken into account is the growth of the productive value of human labor. This tends to make projects involving hand labor more expensive. Technology works in waves and there will always be moments when old crafts more or less die out, but technology also creates tremendous opportunities and eventually the wealth leads to resurgences of craft. Right now we are trading the amazing ability of any home composer to create a symphony on their desktop computer for the fact that few people can make a living hand-crafting violins at a high level of quality and attention to detail (because few people are willing or able to afford the price of that labor). But a cultural taste for high quality music that relates to the full breadth of the human experience will some day return, and that may well drive something like the saxophone into new evolutions. I have lately been fantasizing about a saxophone that morphed its bore and tone holes so as to play exact pitches while preserving really interesting tonal qualities across the full range. Stability and easy playing qualities beyond a modern horn crossed with the wild flavors and flexibility of vintage instruments, that would be amazing.
 

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Where does a poly-cylindrical design fit with this parabolic discussion? For example Buffet's R13 clarinet bore and; as I understand it though surely very subtle, the Buffet S1 soprano?
 

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Where does a poly-cylindrical design fit with this parabolic discussion? For example Buffet's R13 clarinet bore and; as I understand it though surely very subtle, the Buffet S1 soprano?
Interestingly the S1 soprano is illustrated at the above link and it has a very average consistent conical bore, which certainly defies expectations doesn't it? None of the illustrated bores are poly-cylindrical, although a few of them have very short cylindrical , or relatively cylindrical portions, perhaps most clearly so the S1 alto.
 

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I have a 2006 copy of John-Edward Kelly's pamphlet, and enjoy playing the type 3 or type 4 Buescher. Unfortunately, I'm not at all versed in the science of John-Edward's, though find the notion of a parabolic bore and Kelly's aeronautical training, intriguing.
So, I sometimes wonder if anyone would think of a cast and/or forged, hardened aluminum, parabolic bore saxophone?

Were we a more benign version of our own species, perhaps musical instrument design and production would ascend to a technological level more akin to what now gets devoted to an increasingly gadget oriented culture & society; and what seems unfortunate, a whole world lived within whatever production parameters are required to serve humanity as a whole, within such restricted parameters as our current degree of social evolution allows.

Versus a more evolved attempt at making form follow function..rather than what seems the obvious now, of design having to tag along as the poorest of relations scraping by, by darning up the various points of greatest abrasion-while the whole caterwalling world, goes that's way..much as the sole direction of the criminal mind as simply put, is a search amounting to a plea for effective discipline.

I have owned and played a number of fine saxophones; not unlike my experience owning cars; where an inexpensive though highly serviceable used car, in time becomes a prized collector's item with a price tag no one anything like a "normal" person could ever afford.

With now apparently fine saxophones selling inexpensively so to speak, due the relative economy of where these instruments are produced: not unlike the evolution of production, designating where and when the latest crop of reasonably acquired saxophones may come from-with a very likely caveat, that regions of active saxophone production are likely to produce the finest saxophonists and the finest music for the instrument too. Eventually, and ultimately.

So, I would like a world given to collectively contrived pandemic solutions; and similarly, saxophones having no doubt about themselves, no?

Anyway, given classical saxophonist Harvey Pittel's notion, about the future of the saxoohone; the wait for the rational evolution of the saxophone, seems likely to stymie those looking more for answers rather than questions.

One experience during 1973, found me recording an "informance" done by Harvey Pittel, then professor of saxophone at the University of Southern California..an "informance" as his whole northwest tour then was arranged, was to provide a more guided introduction to the classical saxophone and that's music by Pittel's informed dialogue about the instrument.

What then struck me, was Pittel's comparison of the historic violin with the saxophone: saying the horn's evolution is about five hundred years behind that of the violin.

I do enjoy having gotten to know and play quite a few interesting saxophones, as well as the similarly involved search for an instrument to play.

What is curious, is the reflection of the saxophone or another musical instrument as "subject" of that's own "object."

Thus, I think that ultimately music will most contribute what is necessary to evolve an instrument to that's potential.

I mean; I also greatly prize the saxophones currently produced in India, that are exceedingly simple while also designed for inexpensive maintenance too. A curved soprano in my hands during 2004 for $114 was an amazingly musical device, with a wealth of sonority whose mouthpiece alone was worth the purchase price of the whole saxophone. Developed and sold by a company first organized to grow musical quality reed cane in India, they do successfully very nicely.

Anyone, willing to speculate on India's musical evolution for the coming half a millennia? Where both saxophone and clarinet are popular, and the brass instruments too...wow.

I like Balkan Romani music, also a fine current evolution of the art of saxophone and clarinet. Much an improvisor's idiom too, with single dance tunes that can last as much as six hours for dance parties from dusk to dawn and beyond.
Bulgaria's greatest alto saxophonist Yuri Yunakov also Bulgaria's middleweight boxing champion for three years running in the early 1970s: is the person said to've been who Frank Zappa had in mind, in the comment "music is taken more seriously in Europe than in 'the states' "

Phew: Before I got encouraged a second time, to follow my dreams; I had developed a habit using the I-Ching for divination: within which I found koan like advice. The same hexagram for "music," is also that for "enthusiasm" which can end up intelligence too often garnered by hindsight, as one tries to accept evolution rationally.

Thus, I am intrigued greatly by this concept of a parabolic bore; which if poetic licence or licentiousness, I guess a person must explore alone..does anyone know of the Conn "M" action, being adapted to the parabolic bore horn? That would seem the ultimate of what are current conceptions of design? And, besides those "parabolic bore" Buescher, are other saxophones also made using a parabolic bore? And, could the parabola of the bore be opposite the tone chimneys? That would seem easier than creating the parabola within the tone holes and action?

What having picked up a $400 gold-plated 1930 Buescher alto in 1997 has done for my saxophonist's soul. Since these horns are known as "partially parabolic" I wonder whether any fully parabolic saxophones were produced, that would seem so; at least by the way Bueschers are described as "partially parabolic."
I read your entire post. Got to say I have no idea what you are talkin about, but somehow, I want to hear more of this.
 

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Seems as if there is a heaping dose of highfalutin humblebrag in that post.

Which is fine.

and a bunch of noise. I read it too.
 

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alto: 82Zii/Medusa/Supreme, tenor: Medusa, bari: b-901, sop, sc-990
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His first post. Welcome here.
 

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Where does a poly-cylindrical design fit with this parabolic discussion? For example Buffet's R13 clarinet bore and; as I understand it though surely very subtle, the Buffet S1 soprano?
this was my thought as well. Some of the clarinet barrels now are made with a reverse taper.
 

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I have a 2006 copy of John-Edward Kelly's pamphlet, and enjoy playing the type 3 or type 4 Buescher. Unfortunately, I'm not at all versed in the science of John-Edward's, though find the notion of a parabolic bore and Kelly's aeronautical training, intriguing.
So, I sometimes wonder if anyone would think of a cast and/or forged, hardened aluminum, parabolic bore saxophone?

Were we a more benign version of our own species, perhaps musical instrument design and production would ascend to a technological level more akin to what now gets devoted to an increasingly gadget oriented culture & society; and what seems unfortunate, a whole world lived within whatever production parameters are required to serve humanity as a whole, within such restricted parameters as our current degree of social evolution allows.

Versus a more evolved attempt at making form follow function..rather than what seems the obvious now, of design having to tag along as the poorest of relations scraping by, by darning up the various points of greatest abrasion-while the whole caterwalling world, goes that's way..much as the sole direction of the criminal mind as simply put, is a search amounting to a plea for effective discipline.

I have owned and played a number of fine saxophones; not unlike my experience owning cars; where an inexpensive though highly serviceable used car, in time becomes a prized collector's item with a price tag no one anything like a "normal" person could ever afford.

With now apparently fine saxophones selling inexpensively so to speak, due the relative economy of where these instruments are produced: not unlike the evolution of production, designating where and when the latest crop of reasonably acquired saxophones may come from-with a very likely caveat, that regions of active saxophone production are likely to produce the finest saxophonists and the finest music for the instrument too. Eventually, and ultimately.

So, I would like a world given to collectively contrived pandemic solutions; and similarly, saxophones having no doubt about themselves, no?

Anyway, given classical saxophonist Harvey Pittel's notion, about the future of the saxoohone; the wait for the rational evolution of the saxophone, seems likely to stymie those looking more for answers rather than questions.

One experience during 1973, found me recording an "informance" done by Harvey Pittel, then professor of saxophone at the University of Southern California..an "informance" as his whole northwest tour then was arranged, was to provide a more guided introduction to the classical saxophone and that's music by Pittel's informed dialogue about the instrument.

What then struck me, was Pittel's comparison of the historic violin with the saxophone: saying the horn's evolution is about five hundred years behind that of the violin.

I do enjoy having gotten to know and play quite a few interesting saxophones, as well as the similarly involved search for an instrument to play.

What is curious, is the reflection of the saxophone or another musical instrument as "subject" of that's own "object."

Thus, I think that ultimately music will most contribute what is necessary to evolve an instrument to that's potential.

I mean; I also greatly prize the saxophones currently produced in India, that are exceedingly simple while also designed for inexpensive maintenance too. A curved soprano in my hands during 2004 for $114 was an amazingly musical device, with a wealth of sonority whose mouthpiece alone was worth the purchase price of the whole saxophone. Developed and sold by a company first organized to grow musical quality reed cane in India, they do successfully very nicely.

Anyone, willing to speculate on India's musical evolution for the coming half a millennia? Where both saxophone and clarinet are popular, and the brass instruments too...wow.

I like Balkan Romani music, also a fine current evolution of the art of saxophone and clarinet. Much an improvisor's idiom too, with single dance tunes that can last as much as six hours for dance parties from dusk to dawn and beyond.
Bulgaria's greatest alto saxophonist Yuri Yunakov also Bulgaria's middleweight boxing champion for three years running in the early 1970s: is the person said to've been who Frank Zappa had in mind, in the comment "music is taken more seriously in Europe than in 'the states' "

Phew: Before I got encouraged a second time, to follow my dreams; I had developed a habit using the I-Ching for divination: within which I found koan like advice. The same hexagram for "music," is also that for "enthusiasm" which can end up intelligence too often garnered by hindsight, as one tries to accept evolution rationally.

Thus, I am intrigued greatly by this concept of a parabolic bore; which if poetic licence or licentiousness, I guess a person must explore alone..does anyone know of the Conn "M" action, being adapted to the parabolic bore horn? That would seem the ultimate of what are current conceptions of design? And, besides those "parabolic bore" Buescher, are other saxophones also made using a parabolic bore? And, could the parabola of the bore be opposite the tone chimneys? That would seem easier than creating the parabola within the tone holes and action?

What having picked up a $400 gold-plated 1930 Buescher alto in 1997 has done for my saxophonist's soul. Since these horns are known as "partially parabolic" I wonder whether any fully parabolic saxophones were produced, that would seem so; at least by the way Bueschers are described as "partially parabolic."
A conspicuously notable first post. We shall be expecting great things from you.
 

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By this point, someone would have shown the measurements if they did prove the existence of a parabolic bore. The differences between how the French style bore plays versus old Bueschers is attributed to bore and tone hole size. Now this is something that has been measured by several techs on the forum, who have posted comprehensive lists on these measurements featuring known models of all vintages and makes. The findings ought to be somewhat familiar to those who have ever made bamboo flutes, which demonstrate the phenomenons occurring with the saxophone in a very simple form.
 

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The science angle is fun to think about, but it might not ultimately be all that informative.

Too, it strikes me that maybe the pro-parabolic forces are not even all that interested in looking into the question with precision instruments. There's so little to go on (except Sax' rather terse word) that they might very well be proven wrong about the parabola in Bueschers and other middle period saxes. This would leave them in the precarious position of having to defend their choices on purely esthetic terms.

This is something that their spiritual leader, Rascher, was opposed to. He believed there should be a higher dimension to it than esthetics -- in this case, doing justice to the intent of the inventor. The rationale is that the sax is one of the few invented, rather than evolved, instruments. (Of course you don't see people harrumphing over what they've done to Mr. Moog's synthesizer, but never mind that now.)

For chapter and verse on that topic from John Kelly, go here:
http://www.johnedwardkelly.de/texts/rascher.pdf
Most interesting reading, as are Kelly's "aphorisms" and "why art is not entertainment." He is quite the pamphleteer (as well as a phenomenal classical virtuoso). He even manages to fetishize "Resistance" (a quality Rascherians look for in a sax and mouthpiece) as a metaphysical essential of Art! The guy is hard, hardcore.

Note to Eric: Kelly now offers his acoustics essay only by snailmail, on application, at a charge of $5. Hmm... :?
The idea of "resistance" is exactly what struck me about the gold plated Buescher I had from 1997 to 2016 and had restored with black joey pads in 2014 by a friend a real talent at such things.

Particularly when "getting in voice" which always seemed to take about three months if I hadn't played in quite awhile for one reason or another.

That type three Truetone had a discernably different feel to the sound as the full tone came out, once I started to get the "voice" into the realm I felt sounded like I was getting the sound and expression I liked best from the instrument.

Resistance sure had a lot to do with the difference I heard from the way that type three Truetone sounded from other saxophones. An analogy might be a guitarist choosing a heavier gauge string, for the tone.

Except the Truetone seemed unique from other saxophones in the feel of needing more work to get in voice than other saxophones; though once a person got there you're locked into something really fine and also different.

(snip)

[Sorry - needed to edit out lengthy off-topic digression.]
 

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So, did you measure the bore of the horn, or not, and if you did, how much did it deviate from a normal cone?

(Note: due to the ovality that's inevitable in making a cone out of thin sheet metal and then drawing a bunch of tone holes out of it, you need to measure at least crossed axes, and preferably three or four diameters at each location.)

I'm willing to bet that if anyone ever actually measures these bores, it will be found that the conical sections are well within normal manufacturing tolerances for a cone swept from a right triangle made from thin sheet metal. Anyone up for it?
 

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I visited again M. Postma's very valuable site and looked at the bore profiles of the saxophones shown. As an engineer with 40 years of experience in interpreting graphical data, I can tell you what leaps out at me from the ACTUAL MEASUREMENTS shown there:

They're all cones.

Period. THEY ARE ALL CONES. From the first Adolphe Sax instruments to the most modern, INCLUDING THE BUESCHER TRUETONE, they're cones. Of course there are deviations from conicity, in the neck, in the bow, and at the bell. But the main profile, and especially of the main tube? RIGHT ANGLE CONE. Period. End of discussion. Actual measurements have been made, and the saxophones are cones, except where the requirements of manufacturing prevent them from being cones. The only notable deviation from this is in the Adolphe Sax instruments where we see a slight contraction of the bore at the last couple tone holes of the main section. (The much-vaunted-but-data-never-presented "parabolic bore" is supposed to be expanding as it gets bigger, not contracting; anyone want to explain THAT one?)

Can I say this again, more explicitly? Or can we finally, with the much-appreciated help of Monsieur Postma, drive a freaking stake through this "parabolic bore" nonsense?

And let me follow up with something that may not be known to most of you:

What is claimed in a patent is not required to be included in a product derived from that patent. If A. Sax claimed a wind instrument with a bore varying from a right angle cone, that just means he was intended to guarantee his right to use such a bore in the future and to prevent any competitor from using such a bore. It does NOT mean that he actually made instruments with such a bore design, as you can see from the tabulated data.
 

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The idea of "resistance" is exactly what struck me about the gold plated Buescher I had from 1997 to 2016 and had restored with black joey pads in 2014 by a friend a real talent at such things.

Particularly when "getting in voice" which always seemed to take about three months if I hadn't played in quite awhile for one reason or another.

That type three Truetone had a discernably different feel to the sound as the full tone came out, once I started to get the "voice" into the realm I felt sounded like I was getting the sound and expression I liked best from the instrument.

Resistance sure had a lot to do with the difference I heard from the way that type three Truetone sounded from other saxophones. An analogy might be a guitarist choosing a heavier gauge string, for the tone.

Except the Truetone seemed unique from other saxophones in the feel of needing more work to get in voice than other saxophones; though once a person got there you're locked into something really fine and also different.

(snip)

[Sorry - needed to edit out lengthy off-topic digression.]
Could I be emailed the portion off topic? I am a writer under certain hats, and would value what was initially written, rather an interesting story. Thanks for the edit, expressing well what I had in mind creating the post. That knocks, glad to be here. Love them Truetones!
 

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Spitballing here, but what if parabolic refers not to the shape of the bore, but to the shape of the sound? I mean, decibels are logarithmic, right? So maybe the Buescher bore somehow causes its tone to describe an acoustically parabolic arc?
 

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Spitballing here, but what if parabolic refers not to the shape of the bore, but to the shape of the sound? I mean, decibels are logarithmic, right? So maybe the Buescher bore somehow causes its tone to describe an acoustically parabolic arc?
Like shooting spit wads in seventh grade from the alto saxophone section into Sousaphone bells. A parabolic arc?

Mr. Franz finally caught me. I got to stay after school and listen to an LP with Leonard Bernstein trying to get Ben Webster play tenor saxophone without a vibrato, who couldn't because he broke out laughing every time he tried.

So, an acoustic parabolic bore does seem interesting? Wow, am I ever the perfect ignoramus however. Like in George Ohsawa's Centers of Ignorance, he named centers for learning macrobiotics. I think I might like to dive into this seriously, if perhaps someone pulling my leg a little too I'm far from sure of? Just seems fascinating and sort of other worldly enough to get into.
 

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Spitballing here, but what if parabolic refers not to the shape of the bore, but to the shape of the sound? I mean, decibels are logarithmic, right? So maybe the Buescher bore somehow causes its tone to describe an acoustically parabolic arc?
Well, sure. You can use explicit mathematical terms to mean something entirely different if you like. Except that “parabolic” doesn’t mean what it did before.
 

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Well, sure. You can use explicit mathematical terms to mean something entirely different if you like. Except that “parabolic” doesn’t mean what it did before.
Maybe--I'm just not sure what the term originally meant, or what its provenance was. I mean, was it mentioned in early Buescher marketing materials? And was it always associated explicitly with the shape of the horn?

As I understand it (which is admittedly quite poorly), parabolic equations (the PE method) have been used to graph the propagation of sound waves in various media (e.g. water) since at least the 1970s, but perhaps the method was around much earlier? If so, then couldn't it be that early Buescher ad men picked up on the term to make their horns sound more "scientifically" loud--much as early Martin ads tout the "third dimension tone quality" of their horns? (Which is really silly, since all tones exist in four dimensions.)
 
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