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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001266.txt from 1998/03

From: Mark Hollingsworth <mholling@-----.edu>
Subj: baroque trills -Reply
Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 17:39:40 -0500

In Baroque music: Trill from above if you can. You will find many different
approaches to Baroque ornamentation; keep in mind there is not one specific way
to do anything! Clarinetists are at a disadvantage since we seldom play, or
study Baroque music. Baroque ornamentation for the Clarinet is based primarily
on violin or flute performance practice and a lot can be learned by examining
the following texts: J. Quantz - Essay on the Instruction of Playing the
Transverse Flute; and G. Tartini -Treatise on the Ornaments of Music. I studied
bassoon for a few years and learned the following from Richard Lottridge,
former Chicago Symphony member and retired Prof. of Bassoon at U. of
Wisconsin-Madison: Baroque Trills start on the note above, unless the note
preceeding the trill is the note above. Grace notes at the end of the trill
(sometimes called a "nachschlagen") are used with long trills usually found at
cadences. This sometimes becomes a problem in clarinet playing if the trill
crosses the break. One word of advice that Prof. Lottridge gave me: If playing
the ornament by the rules doesn't sound good, play something that does! Another
aspect of Baroque performance that is often overlooked is improvisation. It was
acceptable to improvise all kinds of ornamentation, trills, turns, mordents,
even arpeggios and scale passages between wide intervals. This practice
continued well into the Romantic period; look at different publications of
Weber's clarinet works and you will find different ornamentations. These are
indications of players, not the composer. Regarding chamber music - I think it
is more important for the clarinetist and the singer to agree on the style of
ornamentation to be used and perform it consistently than to be picky about the
historical accuracy of ornamentation.

Good luck and remember - If it does'nt sound good, play something that does!

Dr. Mark Hollingsworth
Assoc. Prof. of Clarinet
East Central University
Ada, OK

   
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