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-Flavin

Second Committee Member

Trudy Kane

Third Committee Member

Luciano Magnanini

Fourth Committee Member

Donald T. Oglesby


The purpose of this essay was to understand the components of lyrical clarinet playing and to develop a guide to teaching lyricism that invokes examples from the operatic literature. The ability to interpret music expressively and with emotion is an essential element of musicianship that is highly prized by teachers and conductors alike. Hence, lyricism is an important part of music performance. In spite of this fact, most teachers tend to place a heavy emphasis on the technical skill of performer while neglecting the lyrical skill. This trend places the performer at a disadvantage because of the expectations that the modern instrumentalist is subjected to when seeking employment as a performer or educator. This study is meant to close the gaps in scholarship and offer an alternative method of teaching lyricism so that the performer is best equipped to meet the challenges of the modern world of music performance. The arias that are examined in this study: “Porgi, amor” and “La Vendetta” from Le Nozze di Figaro, “Der Hölle Rache” and “Ach, ich fühl’s, es ist verschwunden” from Die Zauberflöte, “Mi tradi quell’alma ingrata” and “Dalla sua pace” from Don Giovanni, “In uomini, in soldati” and “Un’aura amorosa” from Così Fan Tutte, and “Parto, parto” and “Deh se piacer mi vuoi” from La Clemenza di Tito.


Clarinet; lyric; lyrical; opera; transcription; Mozart