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Hi all,

In the third-to-last bar of No. 5 A La Parisienne of Dubois's Pieces Caracteristiques en Forme de Suite there is a crossed notehead with pauses either side with "faire un couac" written above it. According to Google this means "to quack".

I've heard a few performances of the piece, and some make a honking sound, while others play a multiphonic. My teacher and I aren't sure what is best to do here.

His suggestion is to take the mouthpiece off, and play just the mouthpiece while cupping it with a hand. Seeing as there are pauses either side it shouldn't interrupt the flow of the music too much. And because there are only a couple of bars afterwards, tuning won't be that important after the mouthpiece is replaced.

Do you guys have any other ideas or suggestions?


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I'm francophone and it's my understanding that "faire un couac" on a wind instrument usually means that you have the right fingering but you overshoot or undershoot the note overtone wise, so the result is:

Either a dud sound (think D3, palm key+octave key, but getting a lower note)...

Or a multiphonic (think low Bb, but getting an octave and a twelfth at the same time)...

Or a squeak...

This is probably the reason you've heard different interpretations of the indication.
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