Twentieth-century chamber music excerpts for clarinet with a pedagogical analysis

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)


Music Performance

First Committee Member

Margaret Donaghue, Committee Chair


The purpose of this essay is to compile an extended study of clarinet excerpts taken from Twentieth-Century chamber music. Although several excerpt books are available from which one learns important orchestral repertoire, at the time of this document very little exists for the genre of chamber music.Much important chamber music involving the clarinet has been composed during the Twentieth Century. However, many clarinetists do not learn this repertoire unless they intend to perform the work. Due to a lack of the necessary instrumentalists, students often do not have the opportunity to perform these works, and therefore they are never learned. This study of clarinet excerpts will enable students to practice fundamental aspects of clarinet performance in the context of this important chamber-music literature.This essay is considered an extended study of excerpts because a detailed pedagogical analysis of each excerpt is included, rather than just the excerpt alone. The pedagogical analyses cover a variety of topics including articulation, intonation, phrasing, breathing, texture, fingerings, and endurance. The endurance necessary in the playing of chamber music is often very different from the level required to play in large ensembles. This is due to the smaller number of players included in the ensemble and the importance of each instrumentalist's part.Brief historical information about each work as well as biographical information on composers will be included. Pieces were chosen for inclusion in this essay based upon criteria established by the author. All works were written between 1900 and the present, and involve two to twelve players. Various forms of instrumentation are included although the primary focus is the woodwind quintet.Some of the works included in this study are not considered standards in the clarinet repertoire. Another aim of this study is to bring these important works to the attention of clarinetists. Works presented in this essay, such as Bohuslav Martinů's Nonet, and Opus Number Zoo by Luciano Berio provide examples of such music. All works in this essay are arranged chronologically by date of composition, and include one work per decade for the years 1920 to 1970. Two works are included for the decade of the 1950's.



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