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I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, efficiency is a beautiful thing. Working less and being more accurate is a beautiful thing.

On the other hand, the kind of work one has to do sometimes when it isn't efficient can be very interesting. Maybe the ear will be less developed if the mouthpiece is taking care of things the ear had to listen to? Do we pay a price? Do we exchange something else very valuable for the efficient invention that will now do the work for us? Is there any value in doing something the "hard" way?

When I first learned about ChiRunning -- which purports to be a more efficient way of running -- I was excitedly telling my Dad about how efficient it was, and my Dad said, "But I don't want that efficiency, because I want to build the strength in my muscles," or something like that.

It made me wonder about efficiency for efficiency's sake, vs. efficiency for other reasons. In the case of a singer or player of musical instrument, efficiency can be desired in order to prevent repetitive use-type injuries, perhaps. Or maybe efficiency can contribute to longevity? Maybe efficiency gives an edge in competition? Perhaps a greater number of people are able to play accurately more of the time? With greater efficiency are we then freed to be more expressive? Will it take less time to become technically proficient and get a person out there professionally sooner? All kinds of questions.

Another set of questions the invention of the mouthpiece brings to mind comes from the way it reminds me of the claims made by shoe companies to runners. You can run more efficiently and safely with these ergonomically, scientifically designed shoes!

However, I have recently discovered the joys of a more primitive kind of running, barefoot running. I found out that once I removed the gadget that was supposedly facilitating easier running (the shoes), I had to learn all kinds of things, some of which was pay attention to feedback that my feet were receiving from the ground, listen to my body more, etc...

New inventions and designs that aid efficiency that free us up for other things are wonderful depending on what a person wants to get out of his/her musical experience/journey.

Claudia Friedlander

I think it's more like you inadvertently bought a pair of shoes that had a 1" heel on the left and a 2" heel on the right. You just might be able to figure out how to walk gracefully enough that people wouldn't notice all that much, although you'll develop a muscular imbalance in your legs that doesn't serve any purpose at all. Anyhow, there are better ways to learn how to walk gracefully. And the original point was to be able to get from point A to point B efficiently, which is better served when you've got matching shoes.


This redesign process reminds me of the agraffe clamp designed by Stuart and Sons:


Bill Benzon

Yes, Monette is something of a controversial figure in the trumpet world. I play trumpet, but I do not use Monette equipment. Nor, for that matter, have I used a gazillion mouthpieces like some trumpeters have done.

Monette's advice on how to play, however, IS good advice. And you don't need Monette equipment to follow it.

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