Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Instrumental Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Margaret Donaghue

Second Committee Member

Nancy Zavac

Third Committee Member

Thomas Sleeper

Fourth Committee Member

Gabriel Beavers


The purpose of this study is to identify the diverse possibilities of the E-flat Alto clarinet and introduce them to composers. The first three chapters solidify the need for the study, review the current literature, and present detailed methodology of the study. Chapter four introduces composers to the sound of the Alto clarinet by demonstrating recordings of original musical examples. These examples are played on the Bass and B- flat clarinet, which composers are usually more familiar with, and contrasted with the Alto clarinet. Chapter five provides tables of selected classical music compositions in which the Alto clarinet plays an important role. Attached URLs link to sound, video, or score samples. Chapter six introduces not only the general extended clarinet techniques which can be applied to the Alto clarinet effectively, but also brand new fingering charts for specific multiphonic notes on this instrument. Sound recordings with demonstration of each technique are provided. The last chapter introduces Jazz and contemporary musicians improvising on the Alto clarinet. Brazilian composer, Rodrigo Bussad applied this study to his music Promesse a l'obscurité. The complete score and recording of this new work are attached to this essay.


Alto Clarinet; Rodrigo Bussad; Multiphonics Fingering Chart; Extended Technique; Basset Horn; Promesse a l'obscurité