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Topic: “Fugue” for Solo Clarinet

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  1. #1
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    “Fugue” for Solo Clarinet

    I hope you were intrigued by the title

    Saturday I listened to a piece titled “Fugue for Solo Violin”. I thought it was excellent how the composer used spaces in the theme together with double and triple stopping to have a solo non-keyboard instrument play a fugue. It got me thinking about how it would sound with a totally mono instrument.

    I got out my pocket music notebook (just bought it and this is the first use) and jotted down a few bars of rhythms that encompassed three entries of the beginning rhythm (up to the middle of bar 8).

    Sunday I started playing with those rhythms and came up with this piece.

    I was originally going to spend a lot of time working out the counterpoint and voice leading, maybe work on some harmonies, but this just flowed out. I spent Christmas Eve playing with the sounds in Cubase and made a few tweaks on Christmas.

    Anyway, maybe not technically a fugue, but I hope you can make out the three voices. To help I am posting a score.

    MP3 file – “Fugue” for Clarinet
    PDF file – “Fugue” for Clarinet

    As always, all comments good, bad or ugly welcomed.
    ----------------
    Edit 12/28
    ---------------
    Sorry for bumping this back to the top, but I made a big addition.

    I was thinking of making this part of a suite of existing pieces for solo clarinet. Well, I made a recording with it in place.

    If you have the time, give a listen and let me know if it works (careful, large download).

    Suite for Solo Clarinet

    0:00 – Bouncing Along (“Fugue” for Clarinet)
    2:05 – Watching the Butterflies (“scherzo”)
    2:49 – Cat spots the Butterfly (Adagio)
    4:22 – Reawakening (Allegretto)
    5:30 – Reminiscence (Variations)

    (time is start times)

    The style of the variation movement might not fit, but I think the mood does. What do you think?
    Last edited by trentpmcd; 12-28-2007 at 08:32 PM. Reason: Added new download - Suite for Clarinet
    Trent P. McDonald

  2. #2

    Re: “Fugue” for Solo Clarinet

    Trent

    Interesting

    Just kidding.

    Doing a solo for any monophonic instrument can be difficult and demanding. A fugue with a solo instrument can be next to impossible, but I think I can see where you have the 3 "voices".

    Every book I have ever read on the subect of fugues has a different definition of what one is comprised of. But I think you have captured many of the meanings in this.

    Well Done

    Ron

  3. #3

    Re: “Fugue” for Solo Clarinet

    Hi Trent,

    Yep, I heard all three! Cleverly done to imitate a fugue, and the clarinet performance was quite realistic. Well done! Thanks for posting this unique and creative piece!

    Danny

  4. #4
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    Re: “Fugue” for Solo Clarinet

    Quote Originally Posted by rolifer
    Trent

    Interesting

    Just kidding.

    Doing a solo for any monophonic instrument can be difficult and demanding. A fugue with a solo instrument can be next to impossible, but I think I can see where you have the 3 "voices".

    Every book I have ever read on the subect of fugues has a different definition of what one is comprised of. But I think you have captured many of the meanings in this.

    Well Done

    Ron
    Interesting, huh? …..

    I’ve written a few things for solo monophonic instruments and always enjoy writing for the clarinet – it is such a flexible instrument with a huge range.

    I’ve also tried counterpoint with a monophonic line before, but in a very different way. A good example would be my Prelude in b minor, which I posted a few months back.

    I never tried something like this before, though. I wasn’t sure if it would work or not.

    Glad you can hear at least a bit of the “three” voices.

    Thanks for listening and for your response.

    BTW – I’ll try to listen to the full “Cusp of Insanity” tomorrow when I will have time to actually listen.
    Trent P. McDonald

  5. #5
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    Re: “Fugue” for Solo Clarinet

    Quote Originally Posted by DDW
    Hi Trent,

    Yep, I heard all three! Cleverly done to imitate a fugue, and the clarinet performance was quite realistic. Well done! Thanks for posting this unique and creative piece!

    Danny
    Thanks Danny. I wasn’t sure how successful my little experiment would be so I’m glad to see that you heard it. As far as performance, one of my problems is it takes me as long to make a performance as to actually write the piece. That is one reason I write piano pieces so often – I can whip those into shape in no time.

    Thanks for listening and for your comments.
    Trent P. McDonald

  6. #6
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: “Fugue” for Solo Clarinet

    Hey, it worked for me. It was definitely out of the box.

    The clarinet sure has a range of tones.

    Is this sequenced with a keyboard controller?



    Phil

  7. #7

    Re: “Fugue” for Solo Clarinet

    Good morning, Trent

    I've grown accustomed to hearing fresh sounding, creative pieces from you - And you certainly didn't let me down.

    The "Fugue" experiment is fun, kind of like a ball bouncing inside an irregularly shaped room - one wall produces low tones, another high tones, other surfaces producing tones inbetween. The Clarinet sounds great too, really nice use of it.

    Thanks for an energetic start to my day!

    Randy B.

  8. #8

    Re: “Fugue” for Solo Clarinet

    Darned clever, very ingenious writing, Trent!

    And, you know, quite listenable and satisfying,
    as well. There aren't a great number of pieces
    like this out there for the clarinet; perhaps you
    might consider getting the score together and
    making it available to clarinet players... I think
    it would probably be quite well received.

    My best,


    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  9. #9
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    Re: “Fugue” for Solo Clarinet

    Quote Originally Posted by fastlane
    Hey, it worked for me. It was definitely out of the box.

    The clarinet sure has a range of tones.

    Is this sequenced with a keyboard controller?



    Phil
    Hi Phil. I took the midi file out of Sibelius and messaged it a bit in Cubase. The notes all came from the notation program, but I changed the mod-wheel info, velocity and “sustain” on each note to get to sound how I wanted.

    Thanks for listening and for your kind comments.
    Trent P. McDonald

  10. #10
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    Re: “Fugue” for Solo Clarinet

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    Good morning, Trent

    I've grown accustomed to hearing fresh sounding, creative pieces from you - And you certainly didn't let me down.

    The "Fugue" experiment is fun, kind of like a ball bouncing inside an irregularly shaped room - one wall produces low tones, another high tones, other surfaces producing tones inbetween. The Clarinet sounds great too, really nice use of it.

    Thanks for an energetic start to my day!

    Randy B.
    Good evening Randy. Anything to help you start your day right.

    I like that analogy of the bouncing ball – I think there is a little bounce to the main theme so I can see where you get it, but you just have a way with words…

    Thanks for stopping by and listening.
    Trent P. McDonald

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