About a year ago, I made the below post. Recently, I found out that Edward Joffe (the author of the handout) posted the same handout on his website. However, he also posted the complete handout that has additional information from the presentation. The key part is the Bell Telephone Hour DVD information. You can hear and see Joe Allard’s clarinet performing! Just do a google search and you can easily find the DVD’s. CLICK HERE to see Edward Joffe’s updated Joe Allard Handout.
NOTE: If you dig enough (much work!) into Youtube.com you can find video of Joe Allard performing on clarinet – audio actually, since they are usually showing a singer or pianist. I once found a video where Allard was performing beside the great Daniel Bonade (at least it absolutely looked like Bonade!).
ClarinetMike says, “Joe Allard was a genius. Check him out.”
[IMPORTANT NOTICE: It is believed that the above picture (from joeallard.org) is not in copyright. If it is, please contact the author of this blog.]
[Below is the handout from the terrific session on Joe Allard at last summer’s ClarinetFest 2011, https://clarinetmike.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/clarinetfest-2011/ . Special thanks to Ed Joffe for kind permission to post it. Check out Dr. Joffe’s website later this summer, http://joffewoodwinds.com/.]
REMEMBERING JOSEPH ALLARD
By Dr. Edward Joffe
“Art has to have variety. Unless a tone has variety of color and variety in volume, unless vibrato has variety in pulse, you don’t have art.”
“When the effort is lost in the result, the latter is said to be artistic.”
STUDIES: Gaston Hamelin (Clarinet, Boston Symphony)
Edmondo Allegra (Clarinet, Boston Symphony)
Augustin Duques (Clarinet, NBC Symphony)
Daniel Bonade (Clarinet, Philadelphia/Cleveland/NY Philharmonic)
Ralph McLane (Clarinet, Philadelphia Orchestra)
Lyle Bowen (Lead Saxophone Dorsey Brothers Bands)
Rudy Weidoeft (Saxophone Soloist/Recording Artist)
Chester Hazlett (Lead Saxophone, Paul Whiteman Orchestra)
WORK: Red Nichols (1931)
DuPont Cavalcade of America (1935-1957)
Red Norvo Orchestra (1936-1939)
Bell Telephone Hour (1940-1965)
WOR Radio Orchestra
Cities Service Band of America (1947-1957)
NBC Symphony Orchestra (1949-1954)
Voice of Firestone (1949-1956)
Symphony of the Air (1954-1963)
TEACHING: The Juilliard School (1956-1984)
Manhattan School of Music (1970-1987)
New England Conservatory of Music (1970-1987)
Mannes School of Music (1971-1976)
Ray Beckenstein Lawrence Feldman Dave Liebman Charles Russo
Bob Berg Dominick Ferra Teo Macero Willie Schwartz
Virgil Blackwell Stan Getz James Meyer Les Scott
Dan Block Roger Greenberg Victor Morosco David Smeyers
Gary Bovyer Steve Grossman John Moses Dennis Smylie
Michael Brecker Tom Haber Ron Odrich Jack Snavely
Carmine Campione Ken Hitchcock Don Oehler Joe Soldo
Lester Cantor Brian Hysong Harvey Pittel Bob Steen
Harry Carney Ed Joffe Bob Porcelli Dave Tofani
John Cipolla Billy Kerr Seldon Powell Jonathan Tunick
Eddie Daniels Lee Konitz Raoul Querze Paul Winter
Eric Dolphy Burl Lane Ken Radnofsky John Bruce Yeh
Marty Ehrlich Walt Levinsky Roger Rosenberg Pete Yellin
Joe Allard’s Concepts
Tone: Joe Allard believed that a tone should have the maximum resonance and with a variety of colors at any dynamic level. He sought a strong and equal balance of overtones in the tone. His teaching emphasized that the throat and mouth cavities should be free of any stress so that one’s ability to play any tone, at any dynamic level, at anytime would not be compromised. He favored mouthpieces that had small/medium tip openings, long facings along with medium-hard/hard reeds.
Breathing: Much of what Mr. Allard taught with relation to breathing was strongly connected to the principles expressed in yoga. He described the breathing process as a 3-step function: during inhalation, the ribs, thoracic cavity (lungs), and finally the lower abdominal muscles (in which the diaphragm is located) expand. The reverse occurs during exhalation. He designed certain exercises to encourage the student’s awareness of the motions of these parts of the body. Virtually all that he said regarding the breathing process corroborated the teachings of Arnold Jacobs, the renowned brass performer/instructor from the Chicago Symphony.
Embouchure: His concept of embouchure was gleamed from his work with Gaston Hamlin (principal clarinet, Boston Symphony), Ralph McLane (principal clarinet, Philadelphia Orchestra) and Robert Bloom (renowned oboist). He believed that a single lip embouchure could afford all of the benefits of a double lip embouchure plus offer greater flexibility. Joe Allard wanted the lower lip to be positioned in such a way that it covered the entire circumference of the lower teeth so that one could feel the lower lip in between upper and lower teeth when chewing. The lower lip would be lightly stretched and not rigid, thereby allowing the lower teeth to “feel the reed” when playing. The zygomatic major muscle would be stretched lightly upwards from the corners of the mouth to the cheekbones. (This is the muscle that is activated when one smiles.) The upper lip would rest gently on top of the mouthpiece while moving towards the upper teeth and would not create any downward pressure. This would insure the least amount of pressure against the sides of the reed (allowing the reed to vibrate it’s entire length) and free the larynx to be responsive to the dictates of one’s musical imagination.
Tongue Position: Mr. Allard advocated that the tongue be positioned high and wide whether playing a legato or articulated passage. He suggested the use of the word “Dis-ney” in order to help achieve this position. (William Kincaid, the great former principal flute of the Philadelphia Orchestra, also made use of this “Disney” effect.) The syllable “Dis” would allow the tongue to lightly touch the molars on each side of the upper teeth and keep the tongue from falling too far back in the throat. The syllable “Ney” would position the front of the tongue behind the upper teeth at the point where the gumline meets it, insuring a forward tongue placement that he called “forward (French) coning.” This high, wide tongue position would reshape the mouth cavity by creating a more compact space for the air to move and result in greater compression of the air as it would leave the mouth to enter the mouthpiece.