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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000301.txt from 1997/09

Subj: Re: A student's multiple questions
Date: Sun, 7 Sep 1997 10:49:29 -0400

On Mon, 1 Sep 1997, Mike Nichols gave a well-thought-out response to the
questions about auditioning on A clarinet parts. One statement, however,

>It is unreasonable to expect a high school student (or any >amateur
clarinetist, for that matter) to own an A clarinet, >and it is equally
unreasonable to expect him to be able to
>transpose music in his head, since most professional >players do not do

As an amateur who plays in three orchestras, any of which may put A, Bb and C
clarinets parts in front of me, I question this view. If I want to play in
these groups (and I *really* want to), it is my problem to produce sounds
acceptable to the conductor. I have yet to hear complaints about transposed
C parts and I seriously doubt whether they would care (or would know) if I
played A parts on Bb.

I have occasionally written out a C clarinet part for Bb, but at the first
rehearsal I had to transpose at sight with some degree of skill. Whether or
not it is unreasonable, if you want to play in an orchestra, you had better
own an A and be able to transpose C parts. I think that discussions in the
past on Klarinet would tend to support the view that professionals transpose
as necessary, C parts on Bb as well as A on Bb and Bb on A now and then.

Don Yungkurth (

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