Below are my complete notes on Etude No. 1, “The 6/8 One,” from this year’s Texas All-State Soprano Clarinet Etudes. See my previous post on the all-state etudes: Overview and Style.
ClarinetMike’s Texas All-State Clarinet Clinic: Etude No. 1, 2015-16 Soprano Clarinet
Dr. Michael Dean
“Building Great Clarinetists”
Clarinet Performing, Teaching and Consulting
Hurst, Texas, USA
BG France Performing Artist
firstname.lastname@example.org * 682-888-7639
clarinetmike.com * clarinetmike.wordpress.com
Etude Book: David Hite editor, Artistic Studies, Book 1 – From the French School, Published by Southern Music (For official TMEA listing, click HERE.)
IMPORTANT: Load ONLY accurate information by using Rhy-No Practice Technique with BOLD Dynamics.
Note: Cyrille Rose (1830-1902) was a very important clarinet teacher at the Paris Conservatory and 1st clarinetist with the Paris opera orchestra. Rose did not compose these etudes, but he adapted and enhanced etudes written for other instruments. He “clarinetized” them. Information on the original etudes and other editions is available HERE.
Etude 1, Allegro vivace, Page: 25, Key: Bb Major, Etude Title: 40 Studies, No. 23, Play from beginning to end. Tempo: Dotted Quarter Note = 63-76 [learn in 6/perform in 2], Errata: m31 last B in measure is Bb.
Composer and Style: This Rose etude is based on a violin etude by violinist/composer François Schubert (not related to the more famous Franz Schubert of “Unfinished Symphony” fame). Listen to violinists (below in Suggested Listening) and copy the style of articulation, etc. (When I was a student, one of my teachers told me, “If you really want to learn to make music, listen to singers and string players.”)
Overview: There are 4 main issues in this etude: 6/8 and Counting, Tonguing (BTE), Key/Accidentals in Middle Section, Dynamics/Style.
Sections, Phrases and Musical Issues: Etude breaks into 3 clear sections: S1 = m1-m16, S2 = m17-m35, S3 = m36 to end. Play this etude with lots of life (vivace!). Check out the dynamics and other indications carefully – DO THEM! The only exception to this is duramente (hardness or firmness). Instead, I would play it “fun and light-hearted” as the TMEA Performance Guide suggests.
Problem Passages: Section 2, esp. m17-m27, is very difficult. Work on this every day, if possible.
Technical Issues: 6/8 and counting. Learn in 6 and perform in 2 if possible. Tonguing. Staccatos should not be too short – think “separated” or “detached.” Note the wedge indication. Play it half value and with an accent – but keep tone consistently beautiful. Also, in the slow preparation of any short-articulated or staccato type passage, be sure to NOT practice it slowly with the notes shortened. In other words, when you practice slowly, play the articulation with a normal or regular tongue stroke with not much separation. As you go faster over time and the passage becomes ingrained and learned, it will be easy to adjust the length of the articulation to the desired shortness. Be sure to use your ears to help you decide how short to play the notes. Playing the notes too short can sound bad. Check out “Betty.”
Scale and Arpeggio Cheat Sheet: Bb and F major scales. Important Arpeggios: Bb, C7, F, Db, E fully diminished 7th
Breathing: When performing up to tempo in 2, you will have to stop quickly and breathe in some spots – m7, m11, m23, m30, m45, and m49. You must factor this in when preparing the etude slowly in 6 with a metronome!
Suggested Listening: Listen to François Schubert’s most famous work, The Bee, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Pm6kBXkqT4. Also, listen to great violinists, such as Joshua Bell.