An educational approach to clarinet performance: A comparative study

Melissa Tavarez, University of Texas at El Paso


In discussions with other musicians regarding areas of concentration, there appeared to be a recurring theme, “What makes an instrumentalist or vocalist a great musician? Why do some enjoy incredible success while others struggle to make ends meet?” Though simple, these questions raise many complex issues of training, talent, and luck. In searching for answers to these questions with regard to the clarinet, it became difficult to isolate common factors regarding environment and opportunity. In fact, with the infinite amount of undefined outside variables affecting a musician's success, it became imperative to focus on what each clarinetist possessed with regards to technique and style to find any common denominators. One begins to focus on recordings of clarinetists who have made an impact on the history of the instrument. In listening and watching clarinetists perform, one becomes aware of certain similarities between them. As a competent performer, a clarinetist must include these aspects of playing in their study and in their performance. These aspects will be discussed more extensively in future chapters. In order of appearance, the characteristics of clarinet performance to be discussed will be: embouchure, breathing, tone production, crossing the break, and articulation. In order to analyze the different approaches to these techniques, many books were studied and evaluated. Among the authors researched were Rosario Mazzeo, Daniel Bonade, Kieth Stein, David Pino, and William Stubbins, among many others. Though all of the authors could not be used because of logistics, the authors with the most concise and practical approaches to developing the techniques have been included in the following chapters. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

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Recommended Citation

Tavarez, Melissa, "An educational approach to clarinet performance: A comparative study" (2005). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1430967.