Clarinet in Classical Orchestra

What was the role of the clarinet in a classical orchestra of the

early 20th century? What about in jazz music from the same time?

Request for Question Clarification bytlspiegel-ga

Hi khadgal,

Please let me know if this would be a fully satisfactory answer to your question.

Jazz vs. Classical Music

http://www.cyberessays.com/Arts/39.htm

"In Classical music, both large orchestras and small ensembles are used.

But generally, the greatest and most prominent compositions are for

the larger symphony orchestra. The largest part of the orchestra is

the string section consisting of violins, violas, cellos and string

basses. These instruments were invented very early in medieval times

but really matured into their present form during the late 18th

century. The wind instruments, comprised of brass and woodwinds, took

longer to mature. The brass section in particular did not posses the

ability to play chromatically (in all keys) until the advent of valves

which allowed the length of the instrument to be changed while

playing. This occurred around the middle to late 19th century.

Consequently, the brass instruments are less prominent in the music of

Bach, Mozart and Beethoven along with their contemporaries. Late 19th

and early 20th century composers make use of a very large orchestra

with all the fully developed wind instruments."

=========

Passagen – The clarinet history by Erin Bray

http://hem.passagen.se/eriahl/history.htm

"The clarinet, still in its infant stages through the Baroque and much

of the Classic periods, did not come to the fore in literature until

the early 19th century. There were many improvements to be made on the

clarinet before it could perform the demands that players and

composers alike desired."

=========

Evolution of the Orchestra in the Classical Period

http://dorakmt.tripod.com/music/orchest.html

"Clarinet became popular from the second half of the 18th century and

established a place in the orchestra. Its potential as a solo

instrument was recognised in opera, symphony, concerto and oratorio.

When the clarinet first began to occupy a place in the score, it was

not so much side by side with the oboes as in place of them. Clarinets

step into the place vacated for the time being by the oboes. It is

interesting to note that when Mozart added the clarinet part to

Symphony No. 40 (K550), he rewrote the oboe parts so that they never

play together except in tuttis. Clarinets were found to be better

partners for horns than oboes. Mozart was the first to exploit the

rich lower register of the clarinet."

=========

The Hindu

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/mp/2002/10/24/stories/2002102400070300.htm

Star of the woodwind family

"Although the clarinet found its life and soul in the classical

orchestras and chamber ensembles, the immense popularity of the

instrument rose by leaps and bounds with the advent of jazz."

=========

Answers.com – orchestra and orchestration

http://www.answers.com/topic/orchestra-and-orchestration

The Eighteenth-Century Classical Orchestra

"During the latter half of the 18th cent. the classical orchestra was

gradually established through the disuse of the continuo and the

acceptance of the clarinet. The abandonment of the continuo led to

much greater independence in the string parts, which now had to fill

the harmony unaided. Instead of both violin parts doubling the melody

and the violas, cellos, and basses doubling the bass, there were now

four distinct parts. The clarinet, like the flute, first appeared as

an alternate for the oboe, but in the late works of Haydn and Mozart

the orchestra was standardized, with pairs of flutes, oboes,

clarinets, bassoons, French horns, trumpets, and kettledrums in

addition to the strings. All the wind instruments, especially the

woodwinds, could carry the melody, providing desired changes of

color."

=========

Characteristics of Early Jazz Why Did Jazz Originate in New Orleans Around 1900?

http://www.kzoo.edu/music/jazz/early.html

I. Characteristics of Early Jazz (@1900-1930)

A. Featured collective improvisation (trumpet, clarinet, and trombone)

1. The role of the trumpet was to play the melody with embellishments

2. The role of the clarinet was to ornament the melody above the trumpet

B. Performed by a small jazz combo of 6 ? 7 players

1. Front Line consisted of one trumpet, one clarinet, and one trombone

[edit]

?Early Jazz?

(@1900-@1935)

"As already stated in the origins of jazz, New Orleans musicians at

the turn of the 20th century had to rely on improvisation to keep

their patrons happy. In other words, they had to find some way to

keep the music going for hours on end so the patrons could enjoy

themselves."

[edit]

"Necessity dictated the size of the ensemble. Because the brothels

and bars were so small, only a few musicians could be accommodated in

the ?stage? area. Thus the standard Dixieland combo was from 5-7 in

number. (Trumpet, clarinet, trombone, drums, piano/guitar/banjo, and

tuba.)"

The best-known New Orleans musicians at this time were:

[Edit]

"Sidney Bechet (clarinet/soprano saxophone), Johnny Dodds (clarinet)"

[edit]

Early Jazz in Comparison with Swing

Early Jazz (Dixie/Dixieland) @1900-1230

Main Woodwind Instrument: clarinet

Swing (Big Band) @1900-1930 @1925-1950

Main Woodwind Instrument: sax

=========

Wikipedia – Clarinet

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarinet

Jazz

"Clarinets are also commonly found in jazz, especially in its earlier

forms such as the Big Band music of the 1930s and 1940s.

The clarinet was a central instrument in early jazz starting in the

1910s and remaining popular through the big band era into the 1940s.

Larry Shields, Ted Lewis, Jimmie Noone and Sidney Bechet were

influential in early jazz. The B flat soprano was the most common, but

a few early jazz musicians such as Louis Nelson Deslile and Alcide

Nunez prefered the C soprano, and many New Orleans jazz brass bands

have used E flat sopranino.

Swing clarinetists such as Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, and Woody Herman

led perhaps the most successful popular music groups of their era.

With the decline of big bands' popularity in the late 1940s, the

clarinet faded from its prominent position in jazz, though a few

players (Buddy DeFranco, Jimmy Giuffre, Perry Robinson and others)

used clarinet in bebop and free jazz."

=========

Best regards,

tlspiegel

Clarification of Question bykhadgal-ga

Dear tlspiegel,

Thank you so much for your answer. I think you can post it as an

answer since it covers my question and is very informative.

Khadgal



One thought on “Clarinet in Classical Orchestra

  1. Hi khadgal,

    Thank you for a very interesting question and also for requesting I

    post in the answer box.

    Jazz vs. Classical Music

    http://www.cyberessays.com/Arts/39.htm

    "In Classical music, both large orchestras and small ensembles are used.

    But generally, the greatest and most prominent compositions are for

    the larger symphony orchestra. The largest part of the orchestra is

    the string section consisting of violins, violas, cellos and string

    basses. These instruments were invented very early in medieval times

    but really matured into their present form during the late 18th

    century. The wind instruments, comprised of brass and woodwinds, took

    longer to mature. The brass section in particular did not posses the

    ability to play chromatically (in all keys) until the advent of valves

    which allowed the length of the instrument to be changed while

    playing. This occurred around the middle to late 19th century.

    Consequently, the brass instruments are less prominent in the music of

    Bach, Mozart and Beethoven along with their contemporaries. Late 19th

    and early 20th century composers make use of a very large orchestra

    with all the fully developed wind instruments."

    =========

    Passagen – The clarinet history by Erin Bray

    http://hem.passagen.se/eriahl/history.htm

    "The clarinet, still in its infant stages through the Baroque and much

    of the Classic periods, did not come to the fore in literature until

    the early 19th century. There were many improvements to be made on the

    clarinet before it could perform the demands that players and

    composers alike desired."

    =========

    Evolution of the Orchestra in the Classical Period

    http://dorakmt.tripod.com/music/orchest.html

    "Clarinet became popular from the second half of the 18th century and

    established a place in the orchestra. Its potential as a solo

    instrument was recognised in opera, symphony, concerto and oratorio.

    When the clarinet first began to occupy a place in the score, it was

    not so much side by side with the oboes as in place of them. Clarinets

    step into the place vacated for the time being by the oboes. It is

    interesting to note that when Mozart added the clarinet part to

    Symphony No. 40 (K550), he rewrote the oboe parts so that they never

    play together except in tuttis. Clarinets were found to be better

    partners for horns than oboes. Mozart was the first to exploit the

    rich lower register of the clarinet."

    =========

    The Hindu

    http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/mp/2002/10/24/stories/2002102400070300.htm

    Star of the woodwind family

    "Although the clarinet found its life and soul in the classical

    orchestras and chamber ensembles, the immense popularity of the

    instrument rose by leaps and bounds with the advent of jazz."

    =========

    Answers.com – orchestra and orchestration

    http://www.answers.com/topic/orchestra-and-orchestration

    The Eighteenth-Century Classical Orchestra

    "During the latter half of the 18th cent. the classical orchestra was

    gradually established through the disuse of the continuo and the

    acceptance of the clarinet. The abandonment of the continuo led to

    much greater independence in the string parts, which now had to fill

    the harmony unaided. Instead of both violin parts doubling the melody

    and the violas, cellos, and basses doubling the bass, there were now

    four distinct parts. The clarinet, like the flute, first appeared as

    an alternate for the oboe, but in the late works of Haydn and Mozart

    the orchestra was standardized, with pairs of flutes, oboes,

    clarinets, bassoons, French horns, trumpets, and kettledrums in

    addition to the strings. All the wind instruments, especially the

    woodwinds, could carry the melody, providing desired changes of

    color."

    =========

    Characteristics of Early Jazz Why Did Jazz Originate in New Orleans Around 1900?

    http://www.kzoo.edu/music/jazz/early.html

    I. Characteristics of Early Jazz (@1900-1930)

    A. Featured collective improvisation (trumpet, clarinet, and trombone)

    1. The role of the trumpet was to play the melody with embellishments

    2. The role of the clarinet was to ornament the melody above the trumpet

    B. Performed by a small jazz combo of 6 ? 7 players

    1. Front Line consisted of one trumpet, one clarinet, and one trombone

    [edit]

    ?Early Jazz?

    (@1900-@1935)

    "As already stated in the origins of jazz, New Orleans musicians at

    the turn of the 20th century had to rely on improvisation to keep

    their patrons happy. In other words, they had to find some way to

    keep the music going for hours on end so the patrons could enjoy

    themselves."

    [edit]

    "Necessity dictated the size of the ensemble. Because the brothels

    and bars were so small, only a few musicians could be accommodated in

    the ?stage? area. Thus the standard Dixieland combo was from 5-7 in

    number. (Trumpet, clarinet, trombone, drums, piano/guitar/banjo, and

    tuba.)"

    The best-known New Orleans musicians at this time were:

    [Edit]

    "Sidney Bechet (clarinet/soprano saxophone), Johnny Dodds (clarinet)"

    [edit]

    Early Jazz in Comparison with Swing

    Early Jazz (Dixie/Dixieland) @1900-1230

    Main Woodwind Instrument: clarinet

    Swing (Big Band) @1900-1930 @1925-1950

    Main Woodwind Instrument: sax

    =========

    Wikipedia – Clarinet

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarinet

    Jazz

    "Clarinets are also commonly found in jazz, especially in its earlier

    forms such as the Big Band music of the 1930s and 1940s.

    The clarinet was a central instrument in early jazz starting in the

    1910s and remaining popular through the big band era into the 1940s.

    Larry Shields, Ted Lewis, Jimmie Noone and Sidney Bechet were

    influential in early jazz. The B flat soprano was the most common, but

    a few early jazz musicians such as Louis Nelson Deslile and Alcide

    Nunez prefered the C soprano, and many New Orleans jazz brass bands

    have used E flat sopranino.

    Swing clarinetists such as Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, and Woody Herman

    led perhaps the most successful popular music groups of their era.

    With the decline of big bands' popularity in the late 1940s, the

    clarinet faded from its prominent position in jazz, though a few

    players (Buddy DeFranco, Jimmy Giuffre, Perry Robinson and others)

    used clarinet in bebop and free jazz."

    =========

    I truly wish I had a record of the keywords used for my research, but

    I empty my cache, temporary files, history, etc., on a nightly basis.

    Because so much time has gone by, my brain got fuzzy trying to recall

    the keywords since I posted my clarification request. 🙂

    Best regards,

    tlspiegel

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