Mastering the Middle Register of the Clarinet
“Crossing the break” can be a source of frustration for developing clarinetists. The Break is a logical guide for mastering this important step in clarinet performance. The method is divided into two parts: Part I contents: the clarinet overtone series – how new note names attach to previously learned fingerings; how to incorporate 'right hand down' as a developmental technique; one octave scales across the break; first melodies in the clarion register that teach basic musical concepts needed for advanced performance. Part II contents: studies from Rhythmical Articulation by Pasquale Bona, selected and edited for clarinet to prepare students for upper level performance. Rhythmical Articulation was originally written to assist singers with rhythmical and pitch accuracy.
Range: The range is appropriate for developing clarinetists (low B to B just above the treble staff). Third-line B natural is often referred to as “the break” because it is the note where the register key is added to produce the middle register. These studies and exercises center around third-line B natural and provide a means to develop smooth connections between the lower and middle registers of the clarinet.
Technique: The studies have been adapted for clarinet to cover nine key signatures. Appropriate articulations, dynamics, and expressive markings have been added to reflect common practice in the classical style. Advanced rhythms and time signatures are introduced with moderate tempos. Musical terms have been added to identify phrases and suggest expression. The Break also includes an introduction to the altissimo register.
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