Historical No tes. The invention of the Clarinet is credited to a flute maker named Johann Christoph Denner, who was bom in Leipsic, , and who died in Nuremberg in Its very first manufacture is said to have taken place between and , naturally in a very unsatisfactory manner, as compared with the perfected instruments of modem times. These first specimens of the Clarinet were constructed with seven holes and two keys, All the other semi-tones had to be produced artificially by relaxing the lips and withdrawing the mouthpiece.
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Historical No tes. The invention of the Clarinet is credited to a flute maker named Johann Christoph Denner, who was bom in Leipsic, , and who died in Nuremberg in Its very first manufacture is said to have taken place between and , naturally in a very unsatisfactory manner, as compared with the perfected instruments of modem times.
These first specimens of the Clarinet were constructed with seven holes and two keys, All the other semi-tones had to be produced artificially by relaxing the lips and withdrawing the mouthpiece. The difficulties of producing a chromatic scale evenly and in tune under such conditions will be apparent to every clarinet player. The necessity for Improvement was therefore soon felt, as the Clarinet, even in this, its primitive form, gave promise of remarkable future usefulness.
The most prominent instrument makers of those times were Barthold Fritz, credited with adding the C sharp - F sharp key ; Joseph Beer, the A flat - E flat key; Xavier Lefevre, the C sharp - G sharp key; Stadler, Kriesling, Schott and Ivan Muller, who after incessant experiments and trials, finally succeeded in producing a thirteen keyed Clarinet.
This instrument was in good tune throughout and its smoothness of tone and technical possibilities surpassed all previous Clarinets. In , L. Buffet, the famous French instrument maker, exhibited a Clarinet in Paris to which he had applied the mechanical system which Theobald Bohm had applied to the Piccolo and Flute, but the patent for this instrument was not granted until Buffet and Klose are equally credited with having brought the so-called Boehm system Clarinet to its present state of efficiency and no greater progress in Clarinet manufacture seems possible than has been achieved in the production of the modem seventeen keyed, six ring Boehm system Clarinet; this instrument undoubtedly possesses all the most desirable qualifications of tone and tune and its technical possibilities are more than ample while music remains in its present stage of development.
Upon this instrument the chromatic scale can be rendered perfectly pure and its execution has become a matter of comparative ease. N Different Parts of the Clarinet.
See Figure I. It can be secured in different lengths to order. The upper and lower joints are detachable for the sake of conveniently carrying the instrument in a lower joint case. The bell is chiefly ornamental; a straight continuous tube of the right length to emit the E and B would do as well. The lay is that part of the mouthpiece upon which the reed lies. It must be perfectly level, except near the tip, where the two sides slope away from the reed, leaving a small opening for the reed to vibrate upon.
This opening varies in different facings. The reed is a thin piece of cane cut from a certain tall grass, Arundos Sativa, grown on the Mediterranean Coast. It plays an important part in tone production and great care must be exercised in its selection. The reed must not be so hard as to cause effort in playing.
Ease and naturalness are the desiderata to be held in view; these are only to be obtained with a good mouthpiece and a good reed.
The ligature secures the reed to the lay. The reed is placed centrally and the point must not overlap the tip of the mouthpiece.
How to Hold the Instrument. Since aesthetics should form the foundation of art in its every detail, it is most important for the pupil 6 from the very beginning to acquire a graceful manner of holding the instrument, as well as a natural, unaffected posture of the body. The upper part of the body should be kept as straight and erect as possible, in order that the chest may be thrown forward and the taking of breath be properly and easily managed.
The feet should be placed about a foot and a half apart. Special care must be taken to hold the forefinger in such a way that, when lying in position, above the hole, it may open the A and A-fiat keys with merely a slight movement.
The thumb of the left hand must also be held in such a manner as to be able to manipulate the B and B-flat keys with ease and through a mere curving of the first joint.
This is most important, as otherwise it would be impossible to bring about a smooth connection between the lower and the upper register, since the B and B-flat keys, beginning with the tone B give life and color to all ascending tones. The right arm, which holds the lower piece, stands farther forward, since, from the point at which it is taken in the mouth, the instrument itself recedes more and more obliquely from the body, so that at the place where the thumb of the right hand takes hold of the holder, it should be about three hands distant from the body.
The fingers should rest lightly and without stiffness upon their several holes and keys, and a finger when raised, must not move from its place. The greatest obstacle to be met with in the course of correct technical development is a certain faulty habit of drawing the fingers in and raising them back again.
This produces a cramped feeling in the hand, besides removing the fingers too far from the respective places in which they should remain. This is a point which must be left to the teacher, who will doubtlessly choose the right method, without departing too much from the principles, laid down in the above chapter.
Embouchure is of the greatest importance for tone production, and it may best be described as tone-production itself. There is a class of clarinetists that play with the reed turned up, although 1 cannot ascribe any good reason for such a method of tone-production, Whoever considers the structure of the mouth must become convinced without delay that this method is a wrong one for the following reasons: The stronger or weaker pressure of the lip on the reed is of the utmost importance for the production of tone; every N degree of pressure acts so decisively on tonal color and articulation that the finished artist will ultimately experience that every tone, properly speaking, has its own embouchure, though this of course, is an enigma to beginners.
Now, then, how is it possible to master all these finer shadings with the upper part of the head and its lips, since that part is utterly motionless! Motion is possible only for the lower jaw of the human head, and it is on that account that the reed should be turned down, to be managed by the lower lip. Moreover, the stroke of the tongue staccato is of great importance. It is impossible to give the three varieties of staccato the sharp, the soft and the tied with proper distinctness, if the tongue, instead of encountering the reed, infringes on the rigid mass of the inverted upper part of the mouthpiece.
To say nothing of such an extremely unaesthetic spectacle, the method in itself is poorly suited for tone-production; with it, the tone will be somewhat hollow and pinched, and lack the noble quality which makes it resemble the human voice. But in view of the endurance required in our time,in orchestra, as well as in concert-playing, the new method - that of placing the teeth directly on the upper part - has come to be acknowledged as the most expedient, and it is this method which I have adopted in the present school.
Those players who think that with this position the tone loses in smoothness, are greatly mistaken. This deception, moreover, occurs only at first and gradually disappears entirely. It is easily conceivable that anyone accustomed to playing with the lip drawn over the teeth, should upon giving up this method, find his tone changed; this change, however, is caused rather by the novelty and uncertainty of the embouchure, than through employment of the new method itself.
Let the player continue for a fortnight with the new embouchure, and he will soon find his former experience reversed. As to the lipping or embouchure itself, the teeth must be set about half an inch from the point of the mouthpiece.
The under lip must be drawn lightly over 7 the lower teeth and find its place of itself, directed by the adjustment of the teeth; the comers of the mouth must be firmly closed, so that the air rushing into the instrument may find no other escape.
The cheeks must likewise be drawn in as much as possible and should not, on anyaccount. The higher the tones ascend, the more imperatively do they require a firm and delicate treatment by means of the upper lip.
The reed should be pressed more and more strongly against the face of the mouthpiece, so that the air-space between the two may be contracted, because the high notes require less wind and the vibrations of the reed become shorter.
Just the contrary, of course, takes place when the tones descend to a lower pitch, so that, on reaching the lowest tone, the under lip must be greatly relaxed, in order that the reed may vibrate without hindrance. Undeniably, the trill, like technic tone-formation, the staccato, and in general all that pertains to higher art, presupposes natural gifts on the part of the player.
However, a method of instruction cannot take account of individual talent or lack of same, but must call for greatest diligence to satisfy the requirements of art; even he whom nature has not gifted with special talent, will by diligent striving after perfection, achieve, at least so much as to be able to cover up his imperfections artistically and with discretion. The trill consists of two tones following in rapid and frequent alternation; according to the key-signatures of the piece, these will form either a major or a minor second, the lower of the two tones being the principal tone, upon which the trill, properly speaking, is made.
Whether the second formed by the trill is major or minor, depends, as we have just said, upon the key-signature; hence it would be a gross musical blunder to play a trill upon this note: the second, or in other cases a sharp.
There are various kinds of trills, though, on the whole, they do not differ very essentially from each other. Thus, with some the trill is begun with the higher note; for example: with others, of whom I am one, with the note upon which the trill stands, thus: My reasons for preferring the latter method are: firstly, the tone, upon which the trill is produced, is given out more decidedly thereby; and secondly, there is an unplesant feeling connected with the downward trill of the first method.
As a rule the trill closes with a turn, consisting of the tone one degree below the principal tone, immediately followed by the principal tone; but these two tones must follow each other just as quickly as those of the trill. Together with the turn, attention must be paid to the signature of the piece and to the key in which the principal tone of the trill is, so as to decide correctly, whether the turn be played with a semitone or a tone below.
The exact reverse is the trill from above, as shown herewith: These trills are usually given in full with their appoggiaturas indicated, as above. Another kind of trill is the Mordent, also called half-trill. Its duration depends upon circumstances and upon the character of the passages. The older masters, such as Clementi, etc. The following passages would be played as follows: or classed as belonging to the so-called embellishments in music.
As I shall not attempt to include a general treatise on the theory of music in this method, I will only introduce examples such of the above-mentioned embellishments as concern practical and essential needs of the Clarinet player. As to the appoggiatura, ir will suffice to say that it is either long or short, and can from any possible interval with its principal tone; however, if short, it should always be in harmonic relation to that tone. The long appogiatura is generally marked by a note of greater value than the short appoggiatura.
For instance: In this case too the appoggiatura requires a stronger accent than the principal tone. Before a whole, half, quarter, eighth, etc. The old masters employed so great a variety of trills and turns that we could not possibly enumerate them all.
In fact, this is hardly necessary for a clarinet-school, inasmuch as the modem notation either gives them plainly written in full or indicates, with exactness, their suitable appoggiaturas and turns. Appoggiaturas of this kind are found in abundance in the works of Mozart, Handel, Gluck, Haydn, etc. The short appoggiatura, as its name implies, is played exactly in the opposite manner, and, being short, the accent falls upon the subsequent note.
For the sake of greater precision, this brevity of execution is indicated in modem notation by a a little line through the tail of the note: As this indication is not contained in the music of the old masters except in modern revisions , taste, experience and above all, correct understanding of the passages to be interpreted, must decide whether the appoggiatura be long or short.
The difference is either hardly discernible, or of little consequence. The Appoggiatura and the Turn. Like the trill, the appoggiatura and the turn are N The turn is also a most effective embellishment. If used with discretion and played with skill it will add much to the artistic taste of a performance. In former times it was used to excess, but this has been remedied entirely by our modem school of composers. The turn consists of four notes, the note above the written or principal note, the written note itself, the note below, and again the written note.
The sign is a generally placed after the principal note. The Signs of Expression. When the note is dotted, the last tone of the turn, which is again the principal tone, must receive the value of the dot. If supplied with an accidental both above and below: it is played like this: Rich as music is in its inner life and as the language of the soul, just so poor is it in appropriate signs adapted to indicate everything the composer might wish to express.
Of course, we have many indications for the tempo, from the slowest largo to prestissimo, but nevertheless, there are infinite varieties of tempi possible between these two extremes, which can never be indicated in plain words. It might be claimed that with the metronome we cannot go astray! True, the metronome prevents serious errors of tempo in general; nevertheless, it frequently occurs that in certain passages the steady beat of the Metronome is intolerable, and that a ritardando, rallentando, accelerando or stringendo indicate the proper movement only in a most imperfect manner.
In cases like these, the refined taste and feeling of the player must point out the true way, and indicate, whether to accelerate or to retard. On the other hand, in ensemble-playing , the individual must adapt his playing to the performance as a whole, and this in turn to the conductor.
The signs of dynamic expression are also most imperfect, and merely give approximate indications. It is a difficult matter to lay down positive rules as to when the lower tone of the turn should be a halt or whole tone below, as in some cases the one is as correct as the other.
However, one rule may be given: the turn on the Tonic, and also on the Fifth of the scale, requires the half-tone below the prinicipal tone; moreover, it may be said in general, that, when the upper tone of the turn is a whole-tone above the principal tone, the lower one is a half-tone and vice versa. However, the upper tone of the turn must always be in conformity with the natural scale in which it occurs.
Therefore, to play the following, By way of modification, other words are prefixed to these, such as: Molto; di molto much , assai very ; non troppo not too much ; un poco a little ; quasi almost, it were ; piu more ; meno less ; piu tosto rather ; sempre always ; ma but ; con with ; senza without ; con moto with motion ; brillante brilliant ; agitato excited, excitedly ; scherzando playfully ; sostenuto sustained ; a tempo in strict time ; ad libitum at pleasure ; rallentando or ritardando slackening the speed ; accelerando and stringendo increasing the speed ; etc.
Complete Method for Clarinet - 3rd Division
Carl Baermann's complete celebrated method for clarinet : op. 63
Baermann clarinet scales