The Internet as a Resource for Single-Reed Players

John Robert Brown

The internet is a rich resource, with an enormous array of printed music, CD recordings, video recordings, comment, criticism, photographs, reviews, web logs, and more. What follows is a small personal selection.

Some sites have interactive content, such as audio extracts or score sample pages. Content can be downloaded, or viewed online. Score sample pages are mostly in PDF format. Audio files are usually in mpeg format, which all computer media players will play, though some recordings require specific software such as RealPlayer or Flash Music Player, which can be downloaded free. Several sites have files in formats which require additional software. If you are unable to view any of the resources listed, then you are probably lacking the relevant player or viewer. Such programmes are freely available online; links are at the end of the article. Full addresses for sites are provided.

You can also find them by entering the name into a search engine such as Google:

There are many other search engines. See Wikipedia:

A good place to begin looking is the clarinet page:

Or the Wikipedia page devoted to the saxophone:

Although these pages carry collections of links, remember that no single editor checks this information. Texts will change. No guarantee of reliability is possible. Check the facts if you intend to use them for teaching or in a research document, book or magazine article. The geographical location is not always given. International differences concerning reed instruments affect the usefulness of these sites. Pitch may vary between countries. Preferred makes of instruments and accesories vary from country to country.

1. Buying an instrument: how to buy a clarinet

Pay The Piper

A helpful overview from a UK company. The remarks about 'the small plastic C clarinet' will be disputed by some. No postal address is given:

Children's Music Workshop

An American site, Children's Music Workshop is a music education company which specializes in a variety of products and services. Advice is comprehensive. Exhortations such as 'demand 45% discount' will not necessarily translate well to Europe!

Before you buy a clarinet:


Less a site for expert advice, more helpful for candid user opinions about clarinets. Navigate to the discussion pages:


Comprehensive German site. Advice tends to fence-sit:

2. Links, clarinet

A superb collection here:

Anne Bell's clarinet links page has an 'informative music site' award:

Michael Moors, American clarinet enthusiast. Many links. Not to be confused with Michael Moore, maker of Sicko.

Humour, on video:

The Green Clarinet comedy sketch

Links within blogs, clarinet

David Thomas, Columbus, Ohio, The Buzzing Reed:

Clarinet Cache, John Cipolla's source of video clips, ever changing:

3. Music, all single-reed

Standards online, pay by credit card, download immediately.

Sibelius Software composer pages, much free and inexpensive music available as downloads, but of widely varying quality:

Scores online, an enormous selection:

4. Unusual clarinets

Mazzeo Clarinet. Innovative fingering system:

Graham Lyons' innovative clarinet for children. Enjoying a surge of interest in 2009; now undergoing development work on materials and construction:

Bohlen-Pierce clarinets. "Consonant Bohlen-Pierce intervals are generally based on odd number ratios: 3:1, 5:3, 7:3, 7:5, 9:5, etc. Some of these intervals (3:1 = perfect twelfth, 5:3 = just major sixth, 6:5 = minor third, etc.) are familiar, while others are not heard, or at least not recognised as consonances, in conventional Western music. The octave has no special status in this tuning system."

Wurlitzer Clarinet. "To obtain a set of Wurlitzers, you must speak enough German; convince the Wurlitzers to make them for you; wait for three or four years; make the trip to Germany whenever they say your instruments are ready; pay at least five times the amount you would pay for a set of Buffets; and then adjust to a new mouthpiece, reed, fingerings, hand position and embouchure when you get home."

5. Performances, clarinet

A strength of YouTube is the abundance of high quality yet unusual performances. Here are a few, omitting well-worn triumphs as well as home-cooked disasters!

Arnold's Fantasy for B flat Clarinet, played by Matic Titovsek, who can be seen on several clips:

Bartók: Contrasts for Clarinet, Violin & Piano, Sz. 111. Thea King, with Yehudi Menuhin (violin) and Jeremy Menuhin. The 28 text comments contain foolish remarks, as ever.

Bernstein Prelude, Fugue and Riffs, Bernstein conducts the Vienna Phil, with Peter Schmidl, clarinet - and annoying comments from YouTube viewers!

Bernstein Sonata. Michael Collins and Fabio Bidini play beautifully:

Danzi Variaciones sobre un tema de Mozart, Luis Rossi with the Orquesta de Cámara de Chile.

Michael Han Kim, 12 years old, playing Carnival of Venice:

Japanese player tackles Clarinet Polka:

Artie Shaw playing his Concerto for Clarinet, in the 1940 film Second Chorus. Superb:

Mauricio Murcia plays Jean Françaix' Clarinet Concerto, fourth movement: Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá (Colombia):

Steve Reich's mesmeric New York Counterpoint, played by11 clarinets at Brussels' Conservatory.The soloist is Ronald Van Spaendonck, conducter Eddy Vanoosthuyse:

Martin Fröst, clarinet. Short version of Hillborg's clarinet concerto, Peacock Tales.

Robot clarinet player, which won first prize at an international orchestra competition, plays Flight of the Bumblebee:

Ben Redwine, clarinet. After You, Mr. Gershwin, by Bela Kovacs, with growls, foot stomps and glissandi. Carl Banner, piano:

6. Jazz clarinet

Benny Goodman with his big band at the New York Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square. Friend of CASS Loren Schoenberg is in the saxophone section. October 1985; Benny was 76; he died within the year.

Tony Scott speaks - and plays lovely clarinet, Blues for an African Friend:

Ken Peplowski, modern mainstream master:

Sidney Bechet plays Royal Garden Blues, in Paris, during the mid-50s. Yes - it's a soprano saxophone, but for these purposes it's a clarinet!

Buddy De Franco and Terry Gibbs, playing Hot Blues at 80 bars a minute, 'in every key there is', ascending chromatically. Do try this at home:

Eddie Daniels, playing Solfeggietto/Metamorphosis, with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra:

Paquito D'Rivera plays Tico Tico on American TV. Scrappy in places, but what a feel:

7. Buying an instrument: how to buy a saxophone

8. Humour

9. Unusual saxophones

Jim Schmidt saxophone. High priced, but revolutionary:

Soprillo saxophone, tiny, like a piece of jewellery. Indeed, some say it should be worn, not played:

The Tubax:

One-handed saxophone:

Straight baritone, and other unusual saxophones, at Jay Easton's site:

10. Links, saxophone

11. Performances, saxophone

Aurelia saxophone quartet plays Jean Baptiste Singelée: Premier Quatuor Op. 53 on original Adolphe Sax saxophones - with very gentle sounds.

JS Bach, Fugue Number Nine. Aurelia Saxophone Quartet wearing clown suits. Don't ask! The playing is exquisite.

Cuarteto de saxofones Quantz Concurso, all from memory.

György Ligeti Six Bagatelles, arranged for the Amethyst Quartet by Johnny Salinas. Impressive high note playing on soprano:

12. Jazz saxophone

Cannonball Adderley Plays Monk. Superb Cannonball Adderley, 'Round Midnight, etc:

Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh and Billy Taylor playing Godchild. Note the contribution of trumpeter Don Elliot:

Tubby Hayes, Jazz 625 in 1964, with Humph's jokes falling flat!

Gerry Mulligan, concert performance of Line for Lyons, in Leverkusen, 1991.

Grace Kelly - the teenage saxophonist, not the film star - with veteran saxophonist Frank Morgan:

Paul Desmond plays Emily:

Sal Nistico, tenor with Woody Herman (1964), breakneck tempo. Note Woody's count-in, and Nistico's embouchure. The tune is Sister Sadie:

Kenny Garrett with the late Miles Davis. State-of-the-art, twenty years ago:

Robot saxophone, playing John Coltrane's Giant Steps. Why, I have no idea:

Published in Clarinet and Saxophone magazine, March 2009. Used here by kind permission; reproduction forbidden.
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