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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000093.txt from 2004/10

From: "R. Williams" <rwilliams@-----.net>
Subj: RE: [kl] Clarinet popularity was:
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2004 11:13:50 -0400

Although I'm coming to this discussion late, one thing I keep hearing in
regards to the situation in the US is the lack of opportunities in HS for
clarinet players outside concert band or specifically the lack of clarinets
in HS Jazz Band/ensembles.

I've heard and read various explanations for this. A common one which seem
prevalent in the mid-west is that clarinets cannot be heard over a Jazz
band. I assume this originates from the same conference or source since
the originator must have ignored Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Eddie Daniels,
Pete Fountain and others who play/played over jazz bands quite successfully.

The other comment I've heard on rarer occasion is that the clarinet is not
a jazz instrument. Evidently the above artists were not informed of this
fact nor were the authors of a wealth of literature featuring the clarinet
in Dixieland and swing....g

What I do see as a likely answer is the lack of current arrangements for
jazz ensembles featuring the clarinet. As to which occurred first, I don't
know. Did composers stop writing for the clarinet or were clarinets
disappearing and composers simply writing to their market? Either way, I
would think if arrangements and compositions began appearing in number
which made use of the clarinets versatility and flexibility, then band
directors would begin to incorporate them into the ensemble and clarinets
would be "cool" once more.. But without the charts, I don't think it is
going to happen. I mean it is pretty bad when you see a chart of Sing Sing
Sing which features a solo tenor sax in place of the clarinet. Rest in
Peace Benny.

Best
RW

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