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 Need help navigating Music Man books
Author: Jaysne 
Date:   2008-01-06 15:16

I'm preparing Music Man. I was given the Reed 3 (Eb clarinet, Bb clarinet, soprano sax) and Reed 4 (piccolo, flute, Bb clarinet, bass clarinet) books.

I need to figure out which parts to play when. I think it's a given that I'll play all the Eb and soprano parts. The trick, I think, it to know which of the Bb clarinet parts are the most important. I quick look shows that the Reed 3 parts are higher than the Reed 4s, which makes sense. Logic would dictate that I'd play the Reed 3 parts, but then it occurred to me that they might be doubling the flute and piccolo parts in the Reed One book (we haven't had a rehearsal yet so I haven't been able to look at the Reed One book). Our orchestra is quite small--I believe nine players, with only three reeds (flute/picc, oboe/EH, and me). So my first question is it more important to double the lead line with the flute, or to play a harmony?

My other question is if it's more important to play bass clarinet in the Reed 4 book than the Reed 3 Bb clarinet part. It seems that the Reed 3 Bb part would be the choice, but the bass might add some nice low color. On the other hand, if the Reed 3 Bb part is not there, might the low color from the bass clarinet seem out of place?

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 Re: Need help navigating Music Man books
Author: mikeW 
Date:   2008-01-06 20:07

It's been years, but I think Reed 3 is the "lead" clarinet book, so I suspect you'll mostly be working out of that. If anyone plays bassoon, there's some important bassoon stuff (for example "Wells Fargo Wagon") that should be covered (Reed 5). My recollection is that we had 4 reeds: Reed 1 (also covering stuff from Reed 4), Reed 2, Reed 3, and Reed 5 (also covering stuff from Reed 4).

You could try getting a CD of the show and see which voice seems more important. Since you'll be working with reduced orchestration, you probably won't know for certain which to cover until you're rehearsing with the "full" pit.

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 Re: Need help navigating Music Man books
Author: jwiseman114 
Date:   2008-01-07 19:41

This is always difficult but I would suggest, if you have room, to put both books on stand during rehearsal and try to figure it out at rehearsal as you go as far which book fills out the other two the best. I'm guessing also that you'll end up in three most of the time.

Get the original cast recording. Personally I think that no matter what you're playing, as long as it is something worthwhile, you should obtain a recording. It is part of the learning experience and fun of being a musician.

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 Re: Need help navigating Music Man books
Author: Jaysne 
Date:   2008-01-09 02:52

Mike & Jwise,
I think you're right about Reed 3 being the lead clarinet book. I played the same book 19 years ago, and I think I did have most of the lead lines. I have listened to the original cast album for many years and yep, all the prominent clarinet stuff is in my book.

I spoke with the Reed 2 player, and while her book is oboe/EH, she also has a fair amount of clarinet in it. But it wouldn't make sense to give the double-reed player lead clarinet stuff, too. So I think I can sit pretty with the Reed 3 book and all will be well. Man, there is a ton of playing in it!

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 Re: Need help navigating Music Man books
Author: Aussiegirl 
Date:   2008-02-01 03:34

If you're the only low reed you'll need to cover some bari/bass sax stuff too...from memory esp in one of the Shipoopi dances. Make sure you play bass clarinet in Marion the Librarian too, if the books are the same as when i did it a few years ago :)

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 Re: Need help navigating Music Man books
Author: Jaysne 
Date:   2008-02-01 16:47

Aussiegirl--the show was over last week. We made it with three reed players: Reed One (Flute/picc), Reed Two (Oboe/EH), and Reed Three (Bb clar, Eb clar, sop sax) (me). Things sounded good enough without the low parts--I looked through the bari/bass sax/bass clar books, and there wasn't anything there that was really critical, or at least more important than what I was playing in Reed Three. It would have been nice, certainly, to have those lower parts, but it didn't kill the show without them. The stand-up bass player filled out the bottom parts in Marian quite well.

Only real problem was that the Reed Two book was about 75% clarinet (in addition to double reeds), and the oboe player who got the book didn't play clarinet--a major slip-up by the conductor who did the hiring.

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 Re: Need help navigating Music Man books
Author: jhndgls 
Date:   2010-05-01 16:22

Does anyone recall roughly how much Eb clarinet is in the Reed 3 book? I'm guessing that it's not too much, but I haven't played it before. Thanks!

John Douglas

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 Re: Need help navigating Music Man books
Author: Jaysne 
Date:   2010-05-06 12:44

As I recall, there isn't much Eb playing at all. I think the only time it's used is in 76 Trombones.

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 Re: Need help navigating Music Man books
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2010-05-31 16:46

It's been a long time since I played this and the book was heavily cut and edited but, as I recall, I also played the eefer in the Shipoopi Dance, the Entr'acte, and the Bows.

Best regards,

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 Re: Need help navigating Music Man books
Author: rcnelson 
Date:   2014-04-01 19:36

Ah yes, Music Man. Have Reed 4 for a short 4 show run next week. I really don't want to have to worry about the piccolo for just the handful of measures at the end of the show, but what I am thinking of is to play a few of the flute sections that of a bunch of ledger lines (like the Marian dance) and play them down an octave on picc.


Selmer Mark VI tenor (1957), Selmer Mark VII alto (1975)
Buescher True Tone soprano (1924), Selmer CL210 Bb Clarinet, Gemeinhardt 3SHB Flute, Pearl PFP105 Piccolo

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