Below are my complete clinic notes on Etude No. 1, “The 6/8 One,” from this year’s Texas TMEA All-State Soprano Clarinet Etudes. My notes on Etude No. 2, “The Slow Etude,” are available HERE. Watch for my notes on Etude 3 coming soon! Check out my previous posts on the all-state etudes: CLICK HERE.
ClarinetMike’s Texas TMEA All-State Clarinet Clinic 2017-2018
Soprano Clarinet Preparation Tips
Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”
“Building Great Clarinetists”
Clarinet Performing, Teaching and Consulting
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Etude Book: David Hite editor, Artistic Studies, Book 1 – From the French School, Published by Southern Music [Rose Etudes] (For official TMEA listing, click HERE.)
Note: Cyrille Rose (1830-1902) was a very important clarinet teacher at the Paris Conservatory and 1st clarinetist with the Paris Opera orchestra for 34 years. Rose did not compose these etudes, but he adapted and enhanced etudes written for other instruments. He “clarinetized” them.
Etude 1, “The 6/8 One,” Page: 63, Key: Bb Major (and G minor), Etude Title: 32 Studies, No. 18, Play from beginning to end. Tempo: Dotted Quarter Note = 72-84 [NO FASTER!], Errata: NONE
Composer and Style: This Rose etude is based on an etude by court oboist Franz Wilhelm Ferling (1796-1874) – to view the original etude, click HERE and go to Etude #18. Ferling wrote this etude in the style of a waltz (cite).
Overview: There are 3 main issues in this lively etude: Tone, 6/8 Time and Rhythm, and Dynamics.
Sections and Phrases: Etude breaks down into 6 phrases: P1 = m1-m8, P2 = m8-m16, P3 = m17-m24, P4 = m24-m35, P5 = m36-m52 with 3 subphrases: P5a = m36-m41, P5b = m42-m45, P5c = m46-m52, P6 = m52-end.
Tempo: Learn (work on) this lively Rose etude in 6 with eighth note as the beat (one eighth note = one beat). Perform in 2 with dotted quarter note as the beat (one dotted quarter note = one beat). However, if you are unable to perform it accurately in 2, then perform it in fast eight notes, i.e. in 6. NOTE: the transition from playing it in 6 beats a measure to 2 beats in a measure is tricky and requires a lot of careful and thoughtful practice. Lots of metronome? Yes! (But don’t get metronome addiction….)
Musical Issues: The original Ferling etude is only marked “Vivace” – Rose added “Allegro” to it. The word “Vivace” comes from “Vivacious,” meaning full of life, attractively lively and animated, spirited, sparkling. I think the best way to think of Vivace in this etude (and generally) is “Full of Life.” The editor of our edition, David Hite, (who tended to overedit) added the word “delirante” at m1. I suggest thinking of this as “fun.” So, play this etude “Full of Life and With Fun.” Note carefully the dynamics and tempo changes indicated on the music. Make big contrasts in tempo, dynamic, style, etc. at m17 “Meno mosso.”
Problem Passages: Measures 5-6 and 13-14 are VERY difficult to perform accurately up to tempo. Also work carefully on m40-m49.
Technical Issues: Watch for phrases and measures that repeat. Rhythm. Many tricky rhythms in 6/8 etc. Also, see as mentioned above under Tempo. Slurring/Tonguing. m46-m49 have small slurs under a long slur. I suggest slurring all of m46-m47 together, no tonguing. In m48 tongue in “threes,” i.e. tongue only the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth notes in the measure. In the following measure, m49, slur the whole measure. Fingerings. Consider left C# in measure 2 and some other spots. Use right C#’s in m31. Use forked fingering for high Eb’s in m47 and m51. Use left C’s before and after fourth space Eb’s, of course. In m46 I suggest using a right C on the first note and then using a left C on the fourth note. Unlike some teachers, I do not recommend using the 1 and 1 fingering for high Bb – for example, m29, m43, etc. The mechanical adjustment on this is very fussy and I don’t trust it on 99.9% of such spots. (The one exception I can think of is in the opening of the “Bird” section of Messiaen’s “Abyss of the Birds.”)
Hypermeter: Advanced students may want to consider playing this etude in a two measure hypermeter (12/8 in 4). The entire etude works perfectly in hypermeter with the only exception being m35. (Click HERE for a discussion of hypermeter or give me a call.)
Scale and Arpeggio Cheat Sheet: Important Scales: Bb major, F Major, G minor and F Chromatic scales. Important Arpeggios: Bb major (Bb D F), F major (F A C), G minor (G Bb D), D7 (D F# A C), Eb Major (Eb G Bb), E Fully Diminished 7th (E G Bb, C#).
Breathing: As marked. Here’s a few suggestions. Take a quick breath after m20 with a small break in tempo. This will take the pressure off the one marked at end of m22 and allow you to mostly stay in time there. At the written breath marks at the end of m41 and m45 I suggest stopping and breathing. You could also do a small ritardando before each if you prefer (I do). FYI, above both of these breath marks I wrote the word “STOP.” Take a breath on beat 2 of m52.
Suggested Listening: Do not listen to the oboe or saxophone version on the Internet, there are differences that will mess you up. AND DO NOT LISTEN TO ANY OF THE “CLARINET ALL-STATE” RECORDINGS OF THIS ON THIS INTERNET. People generally don’t play it with 100% rhythmic accuracy. Do not let them mess YOU up!