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At the beginning of last semester, I acquired a 1920 Conn Curved neck C-melody. I've been talking to my teacher about doing a type of directed study on the C-Mel next fall(playing period pieces, research, etc...) I've tried my alto and tenor mouthpieces on it, and have got my best results currently with a Tenor Selmer long-shank Soloist C*. I would like to get a real C-Mel mouthpiece though.

I haven't found any information regarding a classical sound on the c-mel though. Are there any classical players out there? And if so, what pieces have you had luck with?
 

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bmatney - hello - not too sure that many 'true' classical C-Melody players come here. If you go to Youtube and search "c-melody sax" you'll come across videos by classical players like (e.g.) Hanneke Coolen-Colsters, Ted Hegvik, Andreas van Zoelen, Gilberto Monetti etc. using C-Melody saxes.

You may need to do some work getting in touch will them, e.g. through youtube, or google them for email addresses/websites. I'm sure they'd be happy to explain their setups, and maybe refer you to other classical C players. I've always found C-Mel players very approachable.

Alan.
 

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Thanks! THose are some great sounding players. I've sent out a few emails. Hopefully I'll get a response.
 

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KenK - and possibly a C Soprano as well, in the second half of the video, by the sweetness of the tone. Yep - just checked against mine, it's a C Sop, what a bonus, thanks for that...

btw - how about this for more Raaf - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mmG5qT_kno
 

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I am certainly NOT a classical C-mel player, but most of my background is playing baroque and modern music on the recorders (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) with a group that included other recorders, harpsicord, lute, etc.
I play some of those with my c-melody now, and also some Brazilian "chorinhos".

I am happy with my Morgan C-melody mouthpiece for this kind of music.
 

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and I was the guy who provided Raaf with his Conn :) ! The mouthpiece is a Conn eagle refaced by SOTW member STAN
 

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Sorry, but the expression Classical Saxophone,to me, is as appropriate as Vegetarian Banquet or Sports Diesel.
For "Classical", why not play an orchestral instrument & leave the saxophone to do what it does best.....sleazy Jazz/Blues in smoky late night clubs, in the dark.

Shall I order a cab? :bluewink:
 

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Captain,
as usual I tend to agree with you, and most days I find that John Dowland still sounds better on the recorders than on sax, even though Raaf did a great job on his version.
On other days I listen to the famous Ian Anderson's (from Jethro Tull) version of the Bourée, and I think that there are possibilities there that we should explore, although not strictly classical.
 

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Try and track down a stock mouthpiece for the horn, and make it sound the way it was meant to sound. Conn and Buescher both made great C Melody mouthpieces.
 

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yes, but you need to have it opened otherwise playing it will be very, very, difficult
 

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yes, but you need to have it opened otherwise playing it will be very, very, difficult
...but not impossible :bluewink:

This is Greg Wier attempting the impossible, with a standard 20's C Mel mouthpiece, or so I believe -

http://csax.net/sounds/gregsouleyes.mp3

I have a nice Lelandais C-Mel ( I think previously Chedeville ?) mouthpiece, that plays well, albeit with hard reeds. This does make tonal variation quite difficult, so a 'stock' mouthpiece would benefit from opening the tip, and even possibly a little added baffle...

Coming back to the original thread, it's quite interesting that the C Melody is such a blank canvas, that classical players can get such a completely different sound.
 

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bmatney: look up Rudy Wiedoeft and dig up everything you can find. As a child, around the turn of the century, he was classically trained on clarinet, and transferred his skills to the C Mel. There are numerous recordings of him in a classical style from around the WW1 years, and then many more pop and humorous tunes that border upon the ridiculous, until his career failed in the early 30s. He had a tight, controlled tone early on, then made the cash register go "ka-ching" with a huge vibrato and mastery of saxophonic snickers, hoots, animal noises, laughing, smears, glissandi, and strange things that only he could do. Rudy Wiedoeft is the reason why you still find C Melody saxes sleeping in countless attics, and 78 records at yard sales. Without a doubt, his execution was flawless. It boggles the mind to think of such precise articulation at such speed, with double and triple tonguing. He is a technical master of the instrument in every part of it's range (up to F, that is). He wrote several books on saxophone playing, long out of print, which I have never been able to find. Since then, classical sax solos are almost always for a lyrical alto, with soprano a distant second. The other members of the family are usually relegated to the background in quartets, etc. I would think that there must have been some tradition of C saxophone, given that Adolphe designed the C series for orchestral work, and the Bb-Eb horns for brass bands. I bet the French were into something, given their late 19th Century love for the Saxophone. Perhaps you can do some original research of early recordings, sheet music, trade magazine articles, recital schedules, symphonic performances, etc and shine a light into this very dark cave... Oh, and if Mr. Beef is listening in, Rudy did NOT have that "whimpering platypus smothered in a sleeping bag" sound. Nor did Rudy honk the sleazy blues in smoky bars. Only in my dreams did he consort with Big Jay McNeely and Joe Houston.

See if you can find a metal vintage mouthpiece for C Mel made by Goldbeck. They come up on Ebay periodically. They were remarkably modern for being made back in the day, and the stronger players like Trumbauer used them. Another option is to take a good stock mpc and have it modernized by a knowlegeable maker. I don't know, but there is something about the chamber shape, ramp and length variables that may not be matched by a Bb tenor or alto mpc to attain classical control. I have often thought about working for a few weeks with one of those "stuffy, tubby" original C Mel mpcs, but with a very strong reed, and aiming for a classical sound.
 

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not impossible but Raaf much appreciated the refaced (by Stan) Conn Eagle that I've sold him!
 

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This does make tonal variation quite difficult, so a 'stock' mouthpiece would benefit from opening the tip, and even possibly a little added baffle...

Coming back to the original thread, it's quite interesting that the C Melody is such a blank canvas, that classical players can get such a completely different sound.
By "opening the tip & adding a baffle" you are surely saying "Make it into a modern piece". :bluewink:
Open it quite a bit & add a little more baffle & you will have created a copy of the Lawton....Splendid.
I think I might be tempted to start a Jazz band featuring Harpsichord, Viola and Bassoon....equally appropriate in the opposite direction. [rolleyes]
 

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bmatney: He had a tight, controlled tone early on, then made the cash register go "ka-ching" with a huge vibrato and mastery of saxophonic snickers, hoots, animal noises, laughing, smears, glissandi, and strange things that only he could do.
Mostly true, but you have missed the point Wally.
Rudy was not demonstrating what he could do, but rather what the saxophone, uniquely, could do.
Almost any other instrument could replicate his early "classical" stuff...it could be said that he discovered the versatility of the sax...and ably demonstrated the fact.
You are deprecating about his hoots, smears & laughs etc, but try those on any other instrument.
Only the electric guitar with a pedal board of FX can get close to what is endemic to the saxophone & we should be grateful that Rudy demonstrated this.
Leave the Classical to orchestral instruments because the saxophone is shunned in that company...it is not a classical instrument.
Beethoven was always frustrated by the limitations of the piano. He said that it could be played loudly & it could be played quietly. Also it could be played quickly and slowly.....& that was all you had.
I suggest that he would have loved the saxophone because of it's many voices, but I doubt whether he would have used one in place of the oboe....that was the function of the oboe.
The saxophone has unique qualities.....exploit them, not attempt to ape less versatile instruments.
 

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I do love these little exchanges....:mrgreen:

It comes back to the need for a REAL C-Tenor, with a properly proportioned bore, for those who want a tenor in C. Then the 20's C's can be left to the 'purists', whomever/whatever they are.

The more traditional C players do seem to be aiming for a tone somewhere between a bassoon and a cello

But then I'll bet my 30's Martin C will still give a modern C something to think about :lick: Must treat it to a repad soon, the old 'rivet pads really have seen better days...
 

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It comes back to the need for a REAL C-Tenor, with a properly proportioned bore, for those who want a tenor in C. Then the 20's C's can be left to the 'purists', whomever/whatever they are.

Heavens above, at this rate they will become popular with folk bands....playing alongside piano accordions, penny whistles & that ilk, by scruffy women with hairy legs, named Lotus Blossom :mrgreen:
Mention saxophone to almost anyone & the word Jazz will inevitably follow....never Chamber Orchestra.....& emphatically not Folk. :evil:
 

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But then I'll bet my 30's Martin C will still give a modern C something to think about :lick: Must treat it to a repad soon, the old 'rivet pads really have seen better days...
As is usual, Dear Old Thing, I agree with every word you say.
 
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