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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000963.txt from 1997/09

From: "Benjamin A. Maas" <>
Subj: Re: Transposing
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 1997 01:27:17 -0400

Since this has been going on for awhile, I figure I might as well put in my
two cents.

One of the things that goes on at USC (where I go to school) is we have to
bring in etudes to perform in studio class. We usually perform them on
B-flat. After the first time through, we have to play it again, but this
time my teacher (Yehuda Gilad) will call out transpositions and in the
middle of the phrase, we have to switch gears and play the piece in the new

He also suggests that we pick up violin music or other instruments and use
it to first practice sight reading then to practice our transpositions.

Benjamin Maas
Clarinetist and Digital Recording Engineer
Student, University of Southern California
Executive Director, Digital Renaissance Consort

Subject: Re: Transposing
Date: Saturday, September 20, 1997 7:48 PM

Good subject! The practice of transposing is one that has (at least me)
helped in sightreading. You see, when I transpose, rhythm and notes
don't seem hard anymore, it's catching those accidentals. I had an
excellent teacher by the name of Simeon Loring, I considered him a full
in clarinet playing, as well as conducting. He gave me this Bona rhythm
and said 1-4, practice it. I said that's easy!! He said okay just have it
ready for next week. Oh, and by the way, the 1st one is written for A
clarinet and you are holding a Bb, the 2nd is written for C clar and you
still holding the A clarinet, the 3rd one is written for Eb and you are
playing a Bb...... I quickly gulped, went home, and practiced like
In the military band I now have no problem grabbing the Eb clarinet part
play 20 bars of an important part and change back, or playing the oboe part
when there was none. Transposing is a challenge and personally fun. It
forces you to read ahead and imrove your sightreading. I do play the A
when I can, and as much as I can, but just in case, I feel good knowing I
transpose. I recommend that everyone practice it. I first found the
enjoyment of transposing in the orchestra when for some reason we were
missing the violas and I just sat and started playing the part. I will
retire from the military in 5 years and look foward to going back to
to play till I drop. I'm extremely happy with the experience I've gained
from having to do without a certain instrument and playing their part. So,
to all, practice, practice, practice, and good luck!!!

Carlos Cardo
Musician's Technical Assistant

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