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Performer Guides: Clarinet

Use this guide to find resources for music performance, including LC call number browsing ranges for repertoire, books, and journals..

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Finding Repertoire:

If you're looking for new repertoire to perform, it is often helpful to browse the Music Library's scores. The following call number ranges are for clarinet music; individual works within these numbers are arranged alphabetically by composer or arranger:

  • M70-M74, Solo clarinet
  • M248-M252, Clarinet and piano
  • M557, Woodwind quintets
  • M1024, Clarinet with orchestra (full score)
  • M1025, Clarinet with orchestra (piano reduction)
  • M1124, Clarinet with string orchestra (full score)
  • M1125, Clarinet with string orchestra (piano reduction)

Excerpts, etudes, and instructional materials are classified in the MT range and housed in the same location as books about music (MLs):

  • MT380, General works.
  • MT382, Systems and methods
  • MT385, Studies and exercises
  • MT386, Orchestra studies (etudes)

Digital Score Apps:

The Wilson Music Library provides Blair students, faculty, and staff with free access to nkoda and Henle through our subscription. Follow the instructions below to start using these popular apps today.

Books on the Clarinet and Clarinetists:

The Clarinet

Offers unique perspectives on the clarinet's historical role in various styles, genres, and ensembles, from jazz and ethnic traditions to classical chamber music, concertos, opera, and symphony orchestras. With essays written by leading performer-scholars, The Clarinet offers unique perspectives on the clarinet's historical role in various styles, genres, and ensembles. Beginning with a chapter on clarinet iconography, the book continues with an overview of the instrument's early history, chapters on the clarinet in the opera orchestra and the traditional symphony orchestra, and examinations of important genres involving the clarinet (the concerto and the clarinet quintet). Also included are chapters on leading twentieth-century clarinetists, the instrument's use in the historically informed performance (HIP) movement, and an expansive look at the clarinet's use in ethnic traditions and early jazz. The emphasis on topics not covered elsewhere makes this book an important contribution to the clarinet literature. Written in an accessible style, this volume engages a wide range of readers, from professional musicians to clarinet aficionados and music lovers with less specialized knowledge. Contributors to this volume include Jane Ellsworth, Eric Hoeprich, Albert R. Rice, Ingrid Pearson, Julian Rushton, David Schneider, Marie Sumner Lott, Colin Lawson, and S. Frederick Starr.

Notes for Clarinetists: A Guide to the Repertoire

Notes for Clarinetists: A Guide to the Repertoire offers important historical and analytical information about thirty-five of the best-known pieces written for the instrument. Numerous contextual and theoretical insights make it an essential resource for professional, amateur, and student clarinetists. With engaging prose supported by fact-filled analytical charts, the book offers rich biographical information and informative analyses to help clarinetists gain a more complete understanding of Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo by Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland's Concerto for Clarinet, String Orchestra, Harp, and Piano, Robert Schumann's Fantasy Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 73. and Time Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 43. by Robert Muczynski, among many others.With close attention to matters of context, style, and harmonic and formal analysis, Albert Rice explores a significant portion of the repertoire, and offers a faithful and comprehensive guide that includes works by Boulez, Brahms, and Mozart to Hindemith, Poulenc, and Stamitz. Rice includes biographical information on each composer and highlights history's impact on the creation and performance of important works for clarinet. Intended as a starting point for connecting performance studies with scholarship, Rice's analysis will help clarinetists gain a more complete picture of a given work. 

The Clarinet

The clarinet has a long and rich history as a solo, orchestral, and chamber musical instrument. In this broad-ranging account Eric Hoeprich, a performer, teacher, and expert on historical clarinets, explores its development, repertoire, and performance history. Looking at the antecedents of the clarinet, as well as such related instruments as the chalumeau, basset horn, alto clarinet, and bass clarinet, Hoeprich explains the use and development of the instrument in the Baroque age. The period from the late 1700s to Beethoven's early years is shown to have fostered ever wider distribution and use of the instrument, and a repertoire of increasing richness. The first half of the nineteenth century, a golden age for the clarinet, brought innovation in construction and great virtuosity in performance, while the following century and a half produced a surge in new works from many composers. The author also devotes a chapter to the role of the clarinet in bands, folk music, and jazz.  

A Dictionary for the Modern Clarinetist

The clarinet has played an important role in all kinds of music, ranging from classical to jazz to the traditional music of varying ethnicities and traditions. A beloved band instrument to thousands of school children, the clarinet is also capable of capturing some of the most sublime musical moments in the hands of professional artists. It has found a home in any number of venues, from the great symphonic concert halls to local jazz clubs, from the streets of New Orleans to the film studios of Hollywood. In A Dictionary for the Modern Clarinet, scholar and musician Jane Ellsworth offers lovers of the clarinet the premiere reference book for information about this remarkable instrument. Containing over 400 terms, Ellsworth covers the clarinet's history (including both modern and historical instruments, common and rare), acoustics, construction, fingering systems and mechanisms, and techniques, as well as its more important performers, makers, and scholars. 

The Early Clarinet: A Practical Guide

This practical guide is intended for all clarinettists with a desire to investigate music of earlier periods. It contains practical help on both the aquisition and playing of historical clarinets, while players of modern instruments will find much advice on style, approach and techniques which combine to make up a well-grounded, period interpretation. The book presents and interprets evidence from primary sources and offers suggestions for further reading and investigation. Most importantly, a series of case studies which include the music of Handel, Mozart and Brahms helps recreate performances which will be as close as possible to the composer's original intention. As the early clarinet becomes increasingly popular worldwide, this guide, written by one of the foremost interpreters of early clarinet music, will ensure that players at all levels - professional, students or amateurs - are fully aware of historical considerations in their performance.

The Cambridge Companion to the Clarinet

The Cambridge Companion to the Clarinet is a practical guide to the world of the clarinet. It offers students and performers a composite survey of the history and repertoire of the instrument from its origins to the present day, as well as practical guidance on teaching and performing. Special focus is made on the various members of the extensive clarinet family and specialist chapters provide advice on the mechanics of clarinet playing, the art of historical performance, contemporary techniques, and the clarinet in jazz. A chapter on the professional clarinettist introduces the world of the performing musician, while a survey of the clarinet on record provides the listener with a useful guide to the recording history of the instrument. Informed by the experience of distinguished performers and teachers, this book makes an essential and stimulating reference book for all clarinet enthusiasts.

Liffey Green, Danube Blue: The Musical Life and Loves of László Gede

'Liffey Green, Danube Blue' is the remarkable account of Laszlo Gede, a Hungarian musician who made Ireland his home in 1969. His story begins in Hungary during the First World War, enduring poverty and hardship, and charts his rise to clarinettist in the State Opera House Orchestra. Between the wars Budapest was an exhilarating place for Laszlo, thrilling audiences with his Goldwin Gede swing band in its celebrated cafe society. The Second World War saw him playing in military bands and miraculously avoided being sent to the Front in 1944, while also involved in resistance work. The period was also marked by his two short marriages. Following his imprisonment by the postwar communist authorities, he escaped across the border to Austria along with his third wife during the Hungarian Uprising of 1956. From Austria he settled in Johannesburg and joined the South African Broadcasting Corporation Orchestra. The apartheid violence during the 1960s however led to another move - this time to Ireland. When his musical career was cut short in his late fifties, he sought other ways to earn a living in Dublin - as craftsman, landlord, businessman, taxi driver and engineer. A born survivor, Laszlo could turn every setback to his advantage, while doing his best to help others. 

Doc: The Story of a Birmingham Jazz Man

Autobiography of jazz elder statesman Frank "Doc" Adams, highlighting his role in Birmingham, Alabama's, historic jazz scene and tracing his personal adventure that parallels, in many ways, the story and spirit of jazz itself. Doc tells the story of an accomplished jazz master, from his musical apprenticeship under John T. "Fess" Whatley and his time touring with Sun Ra and Duke Ellington to his own inspiring work as an educator and bandleader. Central to this narrative is the often-overlooked story of Birmingham's unique jazz tradition and community. From the very beginnings of jazz, Birmingham was home to an active network of jazz practitioners and a remarkable system of jazz apprenticeship rooted in the city's segregated schools. Birmingham musicians spread across the country to populate the sidelines of the nation's bestknown bands. Local musicians, like Erskine Hawkins and members of his celebrated orchestra, returned home heroes. Frank "Doc" Adams explores, through first-hand experience, the history of this community, introducing readers to a large and colorful cast of characters--including "Fess" Whatley, the legendary "maker of musicians" who trained legions of Birmingham players and made a significant mark on the larger history of jazz. Adams's interactions with the young Sun Ra, meanwhile, reveal life-changing lessons from one of American music's most innovative personalities. 

Fine-Tuning the Clarinet Section: A Handbook for the Band Director

Clarinets are prominent melody instruments, and a strong clarinet section can make the difference between a good band and a great band. In Fine Tuning the Clarinet Section: A Handbook for the Band Director, Brent Coppenbarger offers a full range of strategies to assist the band director, the beginning clarinetist, and the advanced clarinetist in developing a strong clarinet section. Fine Tuning the Clarinet Section covers the following topics: The basic foundations of a good clarinet embouchureSelecting and breaking-in a new reedA discussion on equipmentClarinet maintenanceIntonationArticulation StrategiesStrategies for developing finger techniqueDeveloping MusicalityDeveloping a warm-up routineRehearsing the woodwind sectionPreparing for a solo performance10 steps to better sight-readingFine Tuning the Clarinet Section: A Handbook for the Band Director is an indispensable resource for the band director who wishes to improve his clarinet section, as well as the beginning clarinetist, advanced clarinetist, or anyone interested in clarinet.