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THE CLARINET FROM A TO Z

By Jean-Christian Michel, Clarinettist and composer

 B flat Clarinet

Clarinet face

Bell of the clarinet

Clarinet Pads

Clarinet Pads

Barrel

Mouthpiece

Clarinet verso

Clarinet face

Bell of the clarinet Barrel Mouthpiece
Clarinet verso

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THE CLARINET FROM A TO Z - CONTENTS

THE CLARINET : DESCRIPTION OF THE CLARINET - HISTORY OF THE CLARINET - THE VARIOUS TYPES OF CLARINETS - THE CLARINET FOR CLASSICAL COMPOSERS - THE CLARINET FOR JAZZ MUSICIANS - THE CLARINET FOR JEAN-CHRISTIAN MICHEL - UNMISSSABLE CLARINET CD - SCORES OF CLARINET - FREE CLARINET MIDI FILES - CLARINET MANUFACTURE - THE ART OF INTERPRETATION ON CLARINET - THE CLARINETTIST - WELL KNOWN CLARINETTISTS - IMAGES AND PHOTOS OF CLARINETS


CLARINETTISTS ! VISIT OUR 25 PROFESSIONAL PAGES ON THE CLARINET (FRENCH)

[ LA CLARINETTE DE A à Z )

LA CLARINETTE DE A à Z, PAGE D'INDEX - DESCRIPTION DE LA CLARINETTE SIb - COMMENT CHOISIR ET ACHETER SA CLARINETTE - LE BEC ET L'ANCHE DE LA CLARINETTE EN DETAIL - APPRENDRE LA CLARINETTE - HISTOIRE DE LA CLARINETTE - FAMILLE DES CLARINETTES - CLARINETTE BASSE - CLARINETTE EN UT - LA CLARINETTE EN JAZZ - LA CLARINETTE EN MUSIQUE CLASSIQUE - CLARINETTE & SON - CD DE CLARINETTE - LE CLARINETTISTE ET CLARINETTISTES CÉLÈBRES - FABRICATION DE LA CLARINETTE - INTERPRÉTATION MUSICALE A LA CLARINETTE - MUSIQUE MIDI - FICHIERS MIDI DE CLARINETTE - FICHIERS MP3 DE CLARINETTE - TOP 10 & TOP 50 DES MEILLEURS SITES DE CLARINETTE - CLARINETTE YOUTUBE - CLARINETTE ET ORCHESTRE - PARTITIONS DE CLARINETTE - CONCERT DE CLARINETTE - LUTHERIE, FACTURE ET PETITES RÉPARATIONS DE CLARINETTE - PATHOLOGIES LIÉES À L'EXERCICE DE LA CLARINETTE - FORUM DE CLARINETTE - TÉLÉCHARGEMENT MP3 D'ALBUMS DE CLARINETTE

 DESCRIPTION OF THE CLARINET

B flat  Clarinet

Clarinet in B flat

Clarinet comes from the Latin clarus "light". It is an instrument relatively unknown to the public.

Nevertheless, with its register of more than three octaves and its exceptional ability to communicate the most subtle nuances of human breath, it astounds through the beauty of its timbre and its expressive force. Could it be that one day it will be quoted among the most beautiful instruments of the world ?

The clarinet, of the woodwind family of instruments, consists of 4 hollow pieces of ebony - the upper and lower joints, a barrel and a bell - which fit together to make up a beautiful assemblage.

A ligature holds a simple reed to the mouthpiece. Below the upper body, an indispensable key allows access to the twelve lowest notes, thus enlarging considerably the range of the instrument.

HISTORY OF THE CLARINET

Blowpipe

Blowpipe

THE ANCESTORS OF THE CLARINET AND THE CHALUMEAU

Well before Christian era, in ancient Egypt, Greece, and India, wind instruments, with reeds and holes already existed. It is these that will one day develop into the clarinet.

To whom should we attribute the invention of the clarinet? In fact, the archaic instruments of the antiquity were gradually perfected, evolving in stages throughout the centuries.

From the middle ages in Europe the chalumeau was used in pastoral music. It was a rudimentary instrument without a bell and only 8 or 9 holes and with a register barely exceeding one octave. The reed, built into a small tube, was not in contact with the lips - the musician blew through a sort of pipe - which emitted a sound without much soul or character.

The chalumeau is nevertheless the origin of the entire woodwind family.

THE CLARINET FROM DENNER TO TODAY

At the beginning of 18th century, German instrument maker DENNER replaced the tube by a mouthpiece, with a ligatured reed. He shaped a cylindrical body and a bell. He added the famous "twelfth hole" with its two corresponding keys... The clarino - which really prefigured the clarinet - had been born, with henceforth three registers : the upper, the medium and the clarion.

Basset clarinet in A with 5 keys at the time of Mozart

Basset clarinet in A with 5 keys at the time of Mozart

Various innovations were to take place in the next two centuries. In 1812 Müller perfected the instrument and produced a clarinet with 13 keys. This new creation greatly eased the task of clarinettists and brought a renewal of interest in the clarinet.

THE CLARINET ADAPT THE BOEHM SYSTEM

Buffet-Campon Tosca Clarinet

Clarinet Tosca Buffet-Crampon- Systeme Boehm 19 keys & 6 rings

In 1844, KLOSÉ, a clarinet professor at the Conservatoire of PARIS and concert performer, particularly well-known to young clarinettists for his Method, adapted the BOEHM system of mobile rings used on the flute to the clarinet. He also added the barrel, to refine the accuracy of the instrument, and created - very nearly - the modern clarinet.

The clarinet is a transposed instrument : the "la" of the clarinet does not correspond to the "la" of the piano. Clarinets of various lengths and timbres appear according to the needs of the orchestra.

THE CLARINET FAMILY : THE 12 VARIOUS SORTS OF CLARINETS


Clarinets


Clarinets from the clarinet family

In fact the clarinet family covers almost the entire orchestral range. The most common clarinet is the B flat. The family from bass to treble classifies as follows :

ContreBass clarinet in B-flat
Bass clarinet in B-flat
Contra Alto clarinet in E-flat

Alto clarinet in E-flat

Bassette clarinet in A
A clarinet
B-flat clarinet
C clarinet
A-flat clarinet
D clarinet
E-flat clarinet
SopraninoA-flat clarinet

THE CLARINET IN THE DIFFERENTS MUSICAL STYLES

Music scope

The clarinet is used in musical styles of Classical Music, Jazz, and folk music.

THE CLARINET FOR THE COMPOSERS OF CLASSICAL MUSIC : CLASSICAL CLARINET

Numerous Classical music composers quickly became interested in the new timbre of the clarinet.

As early as 1716 Vivaldi used it to replace the oboe, then, to quote but a few: RAMEAU, then WEBER, SPOHR, YOST ( These last three composers sacrificing depth to volubility ), BEETHOVEN then LISZT, SCHUMANN, STRAUSS, BERG, MENDELSSOHN, DEBUSSY, MASSENET, STRAVINSKY ( superb in his Rite of Spring ), DEBUSSY, D'INDY, SAINT-SAENS use it in their compositions.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

 

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART Classical composer

The true masterpieces for clarinet are those of MOZART. His Quintet in A, his extremely beautiful Concerto in A maj, his Trio in E flat not to mention the Enchanted Flute and his Adagio for two clarinets and basset horn, all attract unlimited admiration. His masterpiece, although unfinished, is doubtless his Requiem ( which shows his love of the Clarinet Bassett Horn ).

At this level of music, MOZART employs the clarinet with an incredible joy and takes emotion in the limits of purity and depth.

THE CLARINET FOR JAZZ MUSICIANS : JAZZ CLARINET

Sidney Bechet on the clarinet

Sidney BECHET on the clarinet

The clarinet has been a part of Jazz bands since the beginning of 20th century.

It may be argued that the clarinet in Jazz lacks the magnificence that it achieves in MOZART's compositions, but we can still love it as a different but very beautiful instrument.

Let's allow ourselves a little departure : Jazz is anything but boring : it is created on the instant, but does not die with it. It is only necessary to agree to open the spirit, to release the somewhat fixed forms of Classical music, in brief to open another point of view.

Who indeed can boast of really loving Music without being moved by BACH and MOZART, but also without enjoying the distinctive playing of Louis ARMSTRONG ?

The sound's work, absent in the traditional classical technique, opens a new musical universe extremely rich in expression and emotion. The syncopated and extremely imaginative phrasing contributes to the beat and to the life of the piece, and when the clarinet appears and embroiders the counterpoint, it is poignant and vertiginous, pulling us towards an admirable light...

We remember the names of Johnny DOODS, impressing as much by his coolness as by his emotional force, Sidney BECHET, operatic and powerful, Mezz MEZZROW, Barney BIGARD, Jimmy NOONE, Albert NICHOLAS...

THE CLARINET FOR JAZZ-CLASSICAL CROSSOVER MUSICIANS : JEAN-CHRISTIAN MICHEL.

Jean-Christian MICHEL, clarinettist, naturally composes mainly for his own instrument, the clarinet. He already has more than a hundred works in his repertoire. The themes and varied clarinet pieces, the organ récitals, the luxurious returning chords arouse emotions whose depth always amazes.

Famous virtuoso clarinetist: Jean-Christian Michel

Virtuoso spatial jazz & classical crossover clarinettist : Jean-Christian MICHEL

In his interpretation, Jean-Christian MICHEL offers a new clarinet sound, between Classical and Jazz. Like Jazz musicians, he uses a phrasing and an extreme expressiveness which open the way to a world of continually renewed surprises.

Among Jean-Christian MICHEL's works, the magnificent Concerto of Port Maria is absolutely unmissable and also his original pieces for organ, clarinet, synthesizers, bass and drums, such his "Vision d'Ezéchiel", "Ève des Origines" or "Les Paraboles de l'Espace"…and also Aranjuez's concerto !

SOME ESSENTIAL LISTENING FOR THE CLARINET ON CD

Phonograph Music note Monitor

CLASSICAL MUSIC - JAZZ - JAZZ CLASSICAL CROSSOVER - SPATIAL JAZZ & SACRED MUSIC CROSSOVER

CLASSICAL MUSIC CD

MOZART : Sinfonia concertante - Concerto for clarinet. Clarinet : Dieter KLÖCKER - MDG / FNAC

MOZART : Concertos for clarinet, oboe and bassoon. Clarinet : Jacques LANCELOT - Erato ECD 54022

MOZART : Quintet for clarinet K.581, trio for clarinet K498. Clarinet : Walter BOEYKENS - Harm. mundi.

MOZART : Requiem d-minor K V 626. Herbert Von KARAJAN - Deutsche Grammophon No 419 610-2

MOZART, BRAHMS: Quintets with clarinet. Clarinet : Jean-Claude VEILHAN K 617/ FNAC

BRAHMS : Sonatas for clarinet and piano N°1 and N°2 Sonata for piano N°3. Clarinet : Paul MEYER

DEBUSSY : Rhapsody for clarinet and orchestra. Clarinet: Franklin COHEN - De. Grammophon.

STRAVINSKY : The Rite of Spring. BOULEZ, London Symphony Orchestra, DVD INFO on the Web

JAZZ CD

DODDS : Johnny DODDS, clarinet, 603 JD on 1927 , 617 JD 1927 -

Classic SeriesARMSTRONG : The 20s, Johnny DODDS, clarinet - the geniuses of Jazz - Editions Atlas 2001

BECHET : "Blue horizon", Sidney BECHET, clarinet and soprano-sax - Blue Note BN 285161

BECHET-MEZZROW : Mezz MEZZROW, clarinet, Sidney BECHET, soprano-sax and clarinet - Storyville

Mezz MEZZROW, clarinet : Mezz à la Schola Cantorum 1954: Mezz in Paris 54,

Jazztime PERUNA JAZZMEN : play the music of King OLIVER, Klaus FORCHHAMMER, clarinet - BCD 436

SACRED MUSIC/JAZZ SPATIAL CROSSOVER : JEAN-CHRISTIAN MICHEL's CD.

Jean-Christian MICHEL : Port Maria, J-Chr. MICHEL, clarinet - Monique THUS, organ and synthesizer - G- Records

Jean-Christian MICHEL : "@ranjuez" J-Chr. MICHEL, clarinet - Monique THUS, organ and synthesizer - G-Records

Jean-Christian MICHEL : Musique de Lumière, MICHEL, clarinet - Monique THUS, organ and synthes - G-Records


CLARINET SCORES 

SCORES SONG BOOK

CLARINET / PIANO SONG BOOK (40 PAGES)

Jean-Christian Michel Songbook

Jean-Christian Michel Songbook - Scores

(PLEASE, SEE THE SCORES PAGE, OR BETTER THE "PARTITIONS" PAGE ( FRENCH LANGAGE)

FREE CLARINET MIDI FILES

Free Clarinet MIDI Files

Free Clarinet MIDI Files

- TRANSCRIPTIONS AND ARRANGEMENTS FOR CLARINET / CLASSICAL MUSIC SCORES FOR PIANO : FROM J.-S. BACH, MOZART...

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01 - Arrangement for clarinet and organ from J. -S. BACH Choral BWV 707
  [ My Soul l ongeth to depart in Peace BWV 707 ] J. -S. BACH / Arrgt J-Chr. MICHEL
02 - Arrangement for clarinet and organ from J. -S. BACH choral BWV 709
  [ BWV 709 ] J. -S. BACH / Arrgt J-Chr. MICHEL
03 - Arrangement for clarinet and organ from J. -S. BACH Trio in C minor BWV 585
  [ Trio in C minor BWV 585 ] Johann-Sebastian Bach / Arrgt J-Chr. MICHEL
04 - Arrangement for clarinet and organ from Johann-Sebastian Bach Prélude in A
  [ Prélude in A ] - Johann-Sebastian Bach / Arrgt J-Chr. MICHEL
05 - Transcription for clarinet from J. -S. BACH "Jesus bleibet meine Freude" BWV 147
  [ Jesus bleibet meine Freude - BWV 147 ] - J. -S. BACH / Arrgt J-Chr. MICHEL
06 - Transcription for clarinet from J. -S. BACH Aria BWV 1068 from
  [ Aria from the suite in D BWV 1068 ] - J. -S. BACH / Arrgt J-Chr. MICHEL
07 - Transcription for clarinet and organ from J. -S. BACH Cantata BWV 144
  [ Cantata BWV 144 ] - J. -S. BACH / Arrgt J-Chr. MICHEL
08 - Arrangement for clarinet and organ from J. -S. BACH concerto in D minor from
  [ Concerto in D minor ] - J. -S. BACH / Arrgt J-Chr. MICHEL
09 - Arrangement for clarinet and organ from J. -S. BACH Sonate 4
  [ Sonata 4 ] - J. -S. BACH / Arrgt J-Chr. MICHEL
10 - Arrangement for clarinet and organ from MOZART Concerto for clarinet KV 622
  [ Concerto for clarinet KV 622 ] W.A MOZART / Arrgt J-Chr. MICHEL
11 -Arrangement for clarinet from Joaquin RODRIGO Adagio of Aranjuez's Concerto
  [ Aranjuez ] J. RODRIGO - / Arrgt J-Chr. MICHEL
12 -Arrangement for piano - Traditionnal Gospel
  [ Gospel Song ] Traditionnal
 
MANUFACTURE OF THE CLARINET : HOW IS MADE A CLARINET

A clarinet "factory" is simultaneously, curiously imprinted by modernism and by a tradition of craftsmanship.

Jean-Christian Michel at the Buffet-Crampon factory

Jean-Christian MICHEL tests a clarinet At the Buffet-Crampon factory

A block of ebony, initially rough-hewed, is to be turned into a clarinet. After turning on a lathe and drilling, it is stored and dried for a year. Then the wood is cut to in its definitive dimensions and ollowed with the holes being drilled.

35/5000
Clarinet making steps

Steps in the production of clarinet bodies

After a damp-proofing treatment by pressurised linseed oil, imperfections are sealed with resin. The internal bore of the clarinet is carefully finalised: this work is carried out with chisels, gouges and other computer-controlled sizing instruments. Usually the wood is then stained (to hide any imperfections of the wood), or left natural which is more stylish, (the ebony being not absolutely black, but of a deep brown colour).

The métal pieces of the clarinet, made of nickel silver, are assembled by silver-welding. Balls, keys and springs are fitted manually. Then the pre-set keys are silvered plated, polished and re-attached. Pads (at present made of Goretex) are stuck on using wax. Cork seals and felts are the last to be fixed. After final checks, the clarinet is ready to be tried out...

Today, the workmanship of the clarinet continues to evolve, in several different ways. For example, research continues to improve the accuracy of its tuning. The implementation of additional rods aims to protect certain plugs from condensation and to improve the corking and the quality of the sound. Finally, synthesized materials based on powdered ebony, carbon fibre and resin; allow the construction of bodies ( such as the Green series - Buffet-Crampon line ) which are not prone to splitting.

INTERPRETATION ON THE CLARINET

Clarinet & score

It's not enough to align notes in a technically perfect fashion to make music !

Learning is one of the greatest joys in the life, and particularly in the musical art. Indeed contrary to that which one studies in certain disciplines ( where the spirit burdens itself with superfluous details ) everything is useful in the music.

On the technical side, mastering the clarinet demands years and years of work and effort : it is necessary to learn to breathe, to control the breath, to work continually on the dexterity of the fingers in order to obtain the total control of the sound and to acquire the freedom of automatism. The clarinettist will try to obtain his own tone, round, warm, imprinted by sensibility, and, if possible,original.

The artist will then be able to begin "playing music". Because it is not enough to align notes in a technically perfect fashion to make music : it is necessary to transcend this stage and, in the most magnificent liberty, to use technique to sensitively express feelings.Having analysed the global spirit of the piece, the artist will attempt to express their imagination in sound with all the fibres of their personality. By suggesting a note in the breath or on the contrary by stressing it to highlight it, by speeding up or slowing down imperceptibly a phrase, they will learn ow to give magnetism and colour to the musical phrase and instil his own magic.

The chain of notes will then merge in the universal harmony and will then be able to generate this poetry that we call Music.Naturally then, all the greatest joys are available to one that knows how to play Music !

A "true" Music get across to the audience and its emotion always touches the public...

FAMOUS CLARINETTISTS AND THE CLARINETTIST

Clarinettist hands
 

The clarinettist is an instrumentalist who plays the clarinet. But what distinguishes him from the other musicians ?

- The clarinettist is often represented as a tall and rangy being, in the same way as the bassist appears somehow to be a more massive, fatter person. Maybe, by analogy with the range of instruments... But, joking aside, there is no rule in this field !-As we saw it before, the clarinet is a transposed instrument and consequently the clarinettist will be always called upon to transpose ( except if he uses the small clarinet in C ). The majority of the clarinettists who use the clarinet in B flat are not worried by transposing from C to B flat, because hey have long experience of it.

- In the classical orchestra, the clarinet appears next to flutes, oboe and bassoons. The sound of classical clarinet must be played pure and straight, according to the rules of the conservatoire. The clarinettist is widely appreciated as a soloist and if it was necessary to verify that, you could listen day and night to the MOZART's sublime "Concerto for clarinet" !

- In the Jazz band, the trumpeter generally exposes the theme and the clarinettist embroiders everything all around. The "contrechant" of clarinet is a real improvised counter-point, and demonstrates all the harmony's science and the talent of the Jazz clarinettist. Naturally, there is nothing to prevent the clarinettists from exposing the theme themself. Because it is, of course, easy for the clarinettist to take the leading part when he asserts himself as soloist, in trio or in quartet... Naturally, the Jazz clarinettist uses all the possibilities of the expressiveness and sound's work.

- Finally, in Jean-Christian MICHEL's music, the clarinettist is the leader of the group and uses the fusion of the timbres of the clarinet with those of the orchestration, for the synthesis of a new sound. Like in the Jazz, he exploits profoundly the resources of this expressiveness.

In every case the clarinet, through its tone, its wide range's wide area and its expressiveness, always appears like a magnificent instrument which allows the clarinettist to open the floodgates of flow the deepest and the most subtle feelings.

WELL KNOWN CLARINETTISTS

The clarinettist Jean-Christian MICHEL suggests here some famous performers in Classical music and Jazz :

CLASSICAL MUSIC CLARINETTISTS :

Anton STADLER ( MOZART's clarinettist ), Hyacinthe KLOSÉ, Guy DEPLUS, Franklin COHEN, ALAIN DAMIENS, Michel ARRIGNON, Jacques LANCELOT, Walter BOEYKENS, Dieter KLÖCKER, Sergio BOSI, Jörg WIDMANN...

JAZZ CLARINETTISTS :

Johnny DODDS, Jimmy NOONE, Milton "Mezz" MEZZROW, Albert NICHOLAS, Benny GOODMAN, Sidney BECHET, Albany "Barney" BIGARD, Claude LUTER, Dr Michael WHITE, Buddy de FRANCO, Michel PORTAL, Tony SCOTT, Eric DOLPHY, Jimmy GIUFFRE,James CARTER, Don BYRON, Jan GARBAREK...

Clarinet case

Clarinets in their case


NEW ALBUM / CD RELEASE & MP3 DOWNLOAD

The music you are listening to on this page is in the album :

JEAN-CHRISTIAN MICHEL VISION D'ÉZÉCHIEL

Jean-Christian Michel" Vision d'Ezechiel"

DANIEL HUMAIR DRUMS

Replay music

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VISION D'ÉZÉCHIEL

Fantastic CD by Jean-Christian MICHEL with Monique THUS, organ ; Daniel HUMAIR, drums; Miguel JAÈN, classical guitar ; Guy PEDERSEN, double bass.

Vision d'Ezéchiel - Les Joints de lumière - Au Clair de la Lune - Berceuse - Marche Nuptiale - Chant Funèbre - L'Horloge Perpétuelle.

VISIT THE PAGE : [ DISCS & CD ]

NEW VIDEOCLIPS OF JEAN-CHRISTIAN MICHEL

Music video clip Jean-Christian Michel

  BACH JAZZ BY JEAN-CHRISTIAN MICHEL
  BACH JAZZ : TRIO IN C MINOR SWINGING BACH : SONATA 4  
CHURCH CONCERT : JESU JOY OF MAN DESIRING MUSIC DVD : MY SOUL LONGETH TO DEPART
  JAZZ & SACRED MUSIC BY JEAN-CHRISTIAN MICHEL
JAZZ & SACRED MUSIC : VISION D'ÉZÉCHIEL JEAN-CHRISTIAN MICHEL IN CONCERT
CONCERT IN MARSEILLE : L'AUBE DES TEMPS SACRED MUSIC VIDEO CLIP : KYRIALE
BY JEAN-CHRISTIAN MICHEL s SHOWS " SON & LUMIÈRE"
INTERSTELLAR CONCERT :ÈVE DES ORIGINES LASER CONCERT WITH KENNY CLARKE
SHOW "SON & LUMIÈRE" : DES GÉNÉRATIONS LASER SHOW : DANSE AUX PIEDS NUS
JEAN-CHRISTIAN MICHEL PLAYS JAZZ
CLARINET JAZZ CONCERT : BLACK & BLUE VIDEO CLIP JAZZ : LOVELESS LOVE (JAZZMAN)
JEAN-CHRISTIAN MICHEL's INTERVIEWS (FR)
STAR MUSIC INTERVIEW INTERVIEW ARTIST FRANCE 3 TV

WATCH / DOWNLOAD VIDEO CLIPS

DISCOVER DISCS CD & DVD OF JEAN-CHRISTIAN MICHEL

Clarinet & Organ Discs, DVD & Concerts of a new type

 

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SEE ALSO OUR FRENCH WEBSITE : 23 pages ON THE CLARINET

(*) Jean-Christian MICHEL is clarinettist and composer. He is "Full Member of the SACEM" ( Association of composers and music publishers ). He has worked on interpretation with Guy DEPLUS, clarinet professor at the "Conservatoire national de Paris". In addition to his concerts, Jean-Christian MICHEL continues to give master-classes, when his schedule permits. Former surgeon, Internationally celebrated composer and clarinettist, he has received the prize for "Science and Culture" in Sorbonne - Paris (6 Nobel prize-winners on the Jury).

JEAN CHRISTIAN MICHEL OFFICIAL WEBSITE - CLARINETTE CD SCORES DVD CONCERTS MP3 ONLINE To French site