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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000253.txt from 2001/04

From: Ann H Satterfield <annhsatt@-----.com>
Subj: Re: [kl] C clarinet or transposed
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 22:30:03 -0400

Eric,

Unless there is a whole lot more modulation going on that
usual in classic period, transposing C parts is not that hard.
Even young players who have had to deal with concert pitch
and '(Bb) clarinet pitch'.

>The work in question is already quite long, 15 movements divided into
two
>volumes. From the responses it appears that, although I would prefer to
keep
>everything as written, the clarinets should appear completely in Bb.

Who is the intended 'market' for this work? Is it likely to be purchased
by or for less experienced players?

Ann

Ann Satterfield
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Central Florida~~~~~~~
Principal clarinet, Imperial SO & Music Manager, ISO
Adjunct Faculty & Instrumental Assistant PolkCC

On 11 Apr 2001 16:46:01 EDT eric james <eric_d_james@-----.net> writes:
> Dan,
>
> I would like to keep everything as written, simply because to do it
> any other
> way gives a distorted view of things. As far as horn players go,
> every one
> I've talked to, save for the most inexperienced, prefers the
> original keys. I
> feel I can safely argue that point. But I'm not a clarinettist and
> I was
> trying to get a consensus as to what players prefer nowadays. I'd
> like to be
> able to tell the publisher they are wrong in thinking they're making
> things
> more attractive to either horns or clarinets. I'm new at the
> publishing game.
> I've many more pieces of this kind which I would like to bring
> forth and am
> not sure whether or not to compromise on a point like this. Your
> input has
> been has been most valuable and welcome.
>
> Regards.
>
> Eric James
>
> Daniel Leeson <leeson0@-----.net> wrote:
> > Eric, your assumption about what players of Mozart's time would
> have
> > done is 180 degrees out of phase with what they did. EVERYBODY
> had
> > three clarinets and they always played C clarinet parts on a C.
> In
> > fact, there is hard evidence that Stadler had three basset
> clarinets,
> > one in C, one in B-flat, and one in A.
> >
> > Make no mistake about the matter. Playing a C clarinet part on
> anything
> > other than a C clarinet was then (and in my opinion is now) a
> serious
> > historical error at best and a serious musical error at worst. I
> > recognize that many players don't have them today, but that is
> neither
> > here nor there in terms of what was done then or what is the right
> thing
> > to do. Use of a B-flat (or an A) in place of a C and transposing,
> is a
> > financial issue; i.e., you don't have to buy and maintain another
> > clarinet. There is no other reason for doing it. And the same
> thing
> > occurs in small Italian villages where youngsters play everything
> on one
> > clarinet because of cost.
> >
> > I understand why you are doing what you are doing and said in my
> earlier
> > note that both you and the publishers were correct, though for
> different
> > reasons. But you should not interpret my understanding with
> > concurrence.
> >
> > Dan
> >
> > eric james wrote:
> > >
> > > Many thanks to all for thoughtful and quick reponses to my
> quandary. I
> doubt
> > > that the publisher will go for extra transposed parts, plus the
> originals.
> > > The work in question is already quite long, 15 movements divided
> into two
> > > volumes. From the responses it appears that, although I would
> prefer to
> keep
> > > everything as written, the clarinets should appear completely in
> Bb. Dan
> > > Leeson is, of course, right in guessing that the parts, because
> of their
> > > transpositions, have no more than one flat or sharp in the key
> signatures.
> So
> > > now, players will see a lot of D major in their parts. Dan, do
> I gather
> from
> > > your note that since tonal quality wasn't an issue, clarinet
> players from
> > > Mozart's time would have done the same as today, i.e, played the
> parts on
> > > whatever instrument was most comfortable for them?
> > >
> > > Alright, I dig in my heels about the horn parts--they remain as
> written,
> keep
> > > both instruments in their original keys in the score, and put
> the
> individual
> > > clarinet parts totally in Bb.
> > >
> > > Again, many thanks to all. I'm off to find bassoon players to
> talk about
> the
> > > contrabassoon.
> > >
> > > Eric James
> > >
> > > Daniel Leeson <leeson0@-----.net> wrote:
> > > > Eric, you have a complex problem on your hands in which both
> sides are
> > > > right.
> > > >
> > > > From the publisher's point of view, they will lose sales if
> the parts
> > > > are not printed for clarinet types in general use. Horn
> players are
> > > > expected to be able to transpose anything, but not
> clarinetists. So
> the
> > > > publisher's point of view is strictly economic, not
> historical.
> > > > Besides, despite advances over the years, most clarinet
> players do not
> > > > have C clarinets in any case.
> > > >
> > > > On the other hand, you are absolutely correct in suggesting
> that the
> > > > parts be printed as they were written, and it is not a trivial
> point.
> > > > First, I will bet you $10 sight unseen, that, when using the
> clarinets
> > > > specified in the original, no clarinet will be required to
> play in any
> > > > key signature of more than 1 sharp or more than 1 flat. And
> that is
> the
> > > > main technical and historical reason why C and B-flat and A
> clarinets
> > > > were used at that time, not for tonal characteristic, but to
> assure
> that
> > > > no clarinet played outside of the range of proscribed key
> signatures.
> > > > (By the way, I sense in your note the assumption that when a
> clarinet
> > > > player sees "Clarinet in C" his/her business is to transpose
> the part.
> > > > Nonsense!!! It is his/her business to execute the part on a
> clarinet
> in
> > > > C.)
> > > >
> > > > Even though the decision of which clarinet to use was not made
> on the
> > > > basis of sound character, selecting a clarinet different than
> that
> > > > specified will produce a sound character different than that
> for which
> > > > the arrangement was made. That may not be a big thing to you
> (and it
> > > > certainly is of no import whatsoever to the publisher), but it
> is a
> fact
> > > > that cannot be challenged. The best one can say is that it's
> true but
> > > > unimportant. I happen not to agree with that, but so what?
> > > >
> > > > You have only one option: provide the clarinet parts in both
> the
> > > > original and (where necessary) the transposed version. This
> satisfies
> > > > your historical accuracy as well as keeping the publisher
> happy. True,
> > > > the parts will be thicker and thus the printing costs higher,
> but
> charge
> > > > another $5 per set and that will cover that.
> > > >
> > > > eric james wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > Hi to all clarinettists:
> > > > >
> > > > > I wonder if any of you can help me with a C clarinet problem
> I have.
> I am
> > > in
> > > > > the process of getting a work published. It is
> Harmoniemusik from
> the
> > > time of
> > > > > Mozart and deals with both horns and clarinets in various
> keys. The
> > > clarinets
> > > > > alternate between Bb and C instruments. The publisher wants
> all the
> parts
> > > to
> > > > > be printed for Bb clarinet and F horn. As a horn player, I
> know that
> it
> > > is
> > > > > actually more confusing to play music of this sort that has
> been
> > > transposed.
> > > > > The notes just don't look right. But I wonder how
> clarinettists see
> > > things.
> > > > > They have much more complex parts than horns. Is preferable
> to have
> C
> > > > > clarinet parts transposed to Bb or to play from the original
> C parts?
> > > > >
> > > > > My own preference is to publish the parts in their original
> keys and
> let
> > > > > performers make of them what they will. This would also
> address the
> > > > > proliferation of "authentic" performance groups. I've no
> idea what a
> > > > > classical C clarinettist would make of a Bb part. Any
> thoughts on
> the
> > > matter
> > > > > would be greatly appreciated.
> > > > >
> > > > > Eric James
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > Get free email and a permanent address at
> http://www.netaddress.com/?N=1
> > > > >
> > > > >
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> > > > --
> > > > ***************************
> > > > ** Dan Leeson **
> > > > ** leeson0@-----.net **
> > > > ***************************
> > > >
> > > >
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> > --
> > ***************************
> > ** Dan Leeson **
> > ** leeson0@-----.net **
> > ***************************
> >
> >
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