A systematic approach to five clarinet fundamentals as utilized in Rose's Forty etudes



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In the study of the clarinet there are two main sources of literature. In the first group, there are books written about the clarinet its history, acoustics, development, etc. as well as technical aspects of clarinet performance. The second group consists of method books ranging from elementary to professional levels. While a few books merge teaching and playing, most do not. This treatise responds to this gap in clarinet literature by exploring the relationship between performance and teaching methodology. The first four chapters present a thorough discussion of five clarinet fundamentals; tone quality, finger technique, articulation, rhythm, and phrasing. The information presents generally agreed upon components of clarinet playing from standard literature written about the clarinet. I have selected one method book, Cyrille Rose’s Forty Studies, to demonstrate how the teaching of fundamentals can be directed toward performance from the outset. I have analyzed each of its forty etudes in terms of the number and type of the five clarinet fundamentals that they reinforce. Through this analysis, I have found that the various etudes tend to isolate specific combination of playing problems. The numbered order of the Forty Etudes, on the other hand, does not reflect any particular pattern with regard to increased difficulty, key scheme, or technique. My intention in this treatise is to merge the intellectual study of clarinet fundamentals with an applied component, one directly based on a “suggested reordering system” that builds progressively upon tone quality, finger technique, articulation, rhythm, and phrasing. In this way, this treatise may serve as a resource for self-guided study for any player or teacher desiring to learn, revisit, or apply the five basic clarinet fundamentals in a systematic way.