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BeBop

Hardest Instruments to Listen To Played Badly

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I have lived for quite a while in places where musical skills were not well-developed, mostly due to economic conditions. Still, I enjoyed children "doing their thing".  

Now quarantined in the United States, things are different.  

Part of the difference is the instruments.   Broad generalizations, high pitched instruments seem to bother me more, but not exclusively.  Middle-pitched and instruments less.  (Perhaps just the state of my hearing,  but very low pitched I can't hear.) Instruments with variable pitch production more than a simple drum or drone instrument, maybe for obvious reasons.

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High-pitched instruments make sense. Less room for "error" in the waveforms, like if you drive a big car on a narrow dirt road, gotta look out, shoulder, what shoulder, right? Then, road, what road? Then oh shit, broke that axle, why is this thing still moving?

But move it does, until somebody makes it stop oh PLEASE GOD make it stop.

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For me, clarinet.

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All instruments .... but the violin excels ....

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I once heard a trumpeter butcher Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare For the Common Man” in a small town orchestra concert. It was so bad, my friend and I were trying to control our laughter.

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41 minutes ago, mikeweil said:

For me, clarinet.

The top half, for sure. But in the right hands, I rather like the bottom half (meaning everything below where you have to use the register key).

I could do without the top half — and then there’s like a whole NOTHER half (the altissimo register, which truly is above what I call the top half) — which I find excruciatingly difficult to listen to.

The bottom of the bass clarinet is usually divine, and even the rarely played alto clarinet’s lower register is very nice (taking about the standard alto, not the contra-alto).

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3 hours ago, mikeweil said:

For me, clarinet.

and the soprano sax is not far behind.

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This question calls to mind every middle school band teacher that's ever existed. God bless 'em, and sainthood for the ones that were able to pull off cohesive concerts with them. 

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Bagpipes, absolutely.   Clarinet, yes.  (Worse, for me: oboe.)   

I'm really pitch-sensitive, so trombone is "vulnerable" and somehow bothers me more than, say, cello.

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Just now, BeBop said:

so trombone is "vulnerable" and somehow bothers me more than, say, cello.

My neighbor plays trombone professionally in the local symphony. Tone for days. Always nice to hear him practicing. 

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Count me in with the bagpipes crowd.   

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I would think it would be any thing you play yourself.

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my upstairs neighbor, who sadly just moved out, is learning clarinet at 26 inspired by Eric Dolphy. I gotta say I'm pumped and it was cool to hear him practice. He's a very hard worker and a sweet guy, so I'm sure he'll have fun with it. He was already a musician (electronics and guitar, mostly) but had not done anything with reed instruments as far as I know.

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I find a place for just about all instruments, except bagpipes.  Yeah, that one is mighty tough.  I think they have appeared in jazz, although I'm pretty sure not in my large collection.

 

  

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1 minute ago, Milestones said:

I find a place for just about all instruments, except bagpipes.  Yeah, that one is mighty tough.  I think they have appeared in jazz, although I'm pretty sure not in my large collection.

 

  

No Rufus Harley in your collection?

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I'm also fond of Ayler on bagpipes. Quite fond, actually.

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Bagpipes are great. I'm all about some traditional highland piping, and Yoshi Wada as well.

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I am not a fan, My closest neighbor is 92 and blasts them occasionally. He doesn't hear very well and when he plays I wish I too didn't.

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Oboe, absolutely. Played badly (and it is tough to play well) it makes finger nails on a blackboard sound soothing.

 

 

 

gregmo

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I've never liked the sound of the recorder, regardless of how well it's played. Fortunately, it's never been a problem in jazz listening.

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On 3/4/2021 at 11:18 AM, Larry Kart said:

Theremin?

Given the correct cheesy sci-fi movie, the Theremin is a thing of beauty!! ;)

 

 

gregmo

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