I have been playing the clarinet since the mid 1980’s, and whilst other instruments have come and gone in my life, this is one that has remained! I now not only enjoy still playing this instrument, but also offering lessons for the clarinet. Mansfield is one of the areas I cover.
If the clarinet were a personality, it would be a versatile and mellow character that can sometimes be at the root of many jokes (Green Clarinet), but can also hold its own if it came to a fight!
The clarinet is not one of the easiest of instruments to get to grips with, but once you do it has a wonderful warm mellow sound. Where some instruments can be learnt without the aid of a teacher, the clarinet really isn’t one of them. There are many factors that are needed to produce a good tone and reed knowledge and care is as important as the care of the clarinet itself.
The most well known piece of popular music for the clarinet could possibly be Stranger on the shore by Acker Bilk, but the clarinet has been used extensively in orchestral works, jazz, Dixieland, blues – every genre of music there is. If you have seen the television series A Victorian Kitchen Garden, the main themes are played by a Clarinet and a Harp. Other famous clarinettists are Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, and Woody Herman. A more recent clarinettist is that of Julian Bliss from the UK.
For me, the best thing about the clarinet it the sound, and the fact that you can choose to play an eclectic a mix of music as you like. It sounds fabulous as a solo instrument, and even better when let loose to improvise and play as part of a band or orchestra.
Did you know?
Julia Roberts played clarinet in bands when she was at school.
Woody Allen plays the clarinet at Michael’s Pub in New York City on Monday nights, and has even turned down invitations to the Oscars because he has a gig.
Steven Spielberg can be seen playing the clarinet in an orchestra early on in his movie ‘Jaws’.