“Andrew Joy plays with a flat chin, so that's not really BE.”
I've read statements like this. They are based upon a misconception that BE is an embouchure method that forbids a flat chin and requires a bunched chin. BE is not a particular embouchure (and thus there is no "BE embouchure") but rather a set of exercises that guides the individual horn player to develop an efficient embouchure regardless of how it visually appears.
Some BE'ers, including Andrew Joy* and Sandra Clark, play with flat chins. Some BE'ers, like myself, played with flat chins when they began studying BE and have seen gradual changes in chin shape. Some BE'ers have never played with a flat chin. However, anyone who regularly practices one or more of the BE exercises is legitimately developing their own personal BE embouchure regardless of their chin appearance.
The flat chin is neither a requirement nor a taboo in BE. A bunched chin embouchure is not the goal of the BE development system, however it is sometimes the result. The goal of BE is an efficient embouchure, not a specific chin shape.
Many believe Jeff Smiley is "against” the flat chin. He is not. Jeff Smiley is against requiring a flat chin. Here’s a related experience Guillaume, recently shared:
Yesterday was high F day! I went to my favorite horn shop in Paris after work and tried a couple of mouthpieces, mainly for fun... I ended up playing high F after high F on one of my regular mouthpieces (Holton Farkas MC). Even the Farkas SC gave lesser results. I just started higher (i.e. in the staff) than I usually do when I try to play above high C (usually start on pedal notes). I just hope I can have this back in the next days and weeks... And as strange as it can be, my lips were not fully RI [rolled in] ... I still had a significant bit of RO [rolled out] and almost no bunching chin... I am a bit puzzled by this I have to say...Those are my last experiments… And after one year on BE, I guess I can be proud of the way I already travelled... thank you for your advice and Jeff for writing the book.A few days later Guillaume followed up with this:
It's still there. It is just another embouchure set up I can use for extreme high wire range or heavy 1st horn parts, I can more or less make it work from middle C. My regular RO [rolled out] set up gives me a fuller tone, but "only" up to high D (E flat when lucky). I started to see how I can transition between both... it seems doable. The real fun is to see how my chin can move freely, even on high F, up, down... whatever.Guillaume summarizes the BE chin issue with one word: “whatever."
*Since this posting, I've learned that Andrew's flat chin days are long over. Please see the posting on June 25, 2010 to read Andrew's response.