THE ORCHESTRA: A USER'S MANUAL

Introduction Orchestration Orchestration Resources Historical Andrew Hugill
  Philharmonia

CLARINET


Section: Woodwind
Transposing? Yes

Construction
Range
Articulations
Effects
Extended
Player's Tips and Tricks

Links

Effects

NAME
DESCRIPTION
NOTATION
LISTEN/VIEW
COMMENTS
vibrato
undulation in pitch
verbal instruction, sometimes with wavy line
  This is normally used as an exaggerated effect.
glissando
slide in pitch between notes

glissando on the clarinet

glissando on the bass clarinet

Gershwin's glissando in Rhapsody in Blue

Clarinet: works best between (written) D4 and F6. Avoid in the lower register.

Bass Clarinet: glissandi don't work, because of covered holes. Fast chromatic scales are substituted.

harmonic
produced by fingering a fundamental low note, then picking out partials using venting, register keys or octave holes
o - over the notehead.
(It is probably a good idea to include a note explaining whether the notehead is the sounding or fingered pitch)
harmonics Very rare and fairly ineffective on the clarinet.
trills
rapid alternation between two pitches

this shows a minor trill followed by a major trill, indicated by accidentals over the note. If these are not given, players will choose trill type based on musical context. The wavy lines indicating duration of trill are also optional.

trills

Bass Clarinet trills

'Timbral' trills on the bass clarinet

All trills are possible on the clarinet and on the bass clarinet (except very high on the instrument).

Timbral trills involve trilling between alternative fingerings for a given note, or using very little embouchure.

tremolando
a trill between two notes more than a tone apart

tremolando

Bass Clarinet tremolando

These are possible, but avoid crossing the register break, especially on bass clarinet (which sounds particularly effective in the bottom register).
subtones
very quiet sound

verbal instruction: echo tone, subtone, mezzo voce or sotto voce

subtone An extreme pianissimo will be drowned out by other sounds.