9

The bass clarinet is a transposing instrument: the Bb bass clarinet sounds a full major 9th below what is written for its sheet music. For example, that written G in the OP sounds like the F in the octave below. The bass clarinet is nowhere close to being the only transposing instrument, though: for example, the regular Bb clarinet sounds a major 2nd below ...


6

This isn't really a bass clarinet specific answer, but one that would help you to be heard in ensemble playing, generally. Increasing your absolute volume may not be the only way to be heard clearly within an ensemble texture. Playing with more attack, and so more definition, may allow you to be heard more clearly within the ensemble; it will also add ...


6

Perception is key. Start by asking the conductor how he feels the balance is. Given that 90% of bass clarinet parts are supporting lines, rather than leading lines, you don't exactly want to have your sound stand out above the sections carrying the tune. If the conductor agrees that you're not producing proper volume, work with your teacher (sure hope ...


4

In this case, your intuition is correct: when the bass clarinet is written in the bass clef, it now only transposes by a major second instead of by a major ninth. Transposing by a major ninth (i.e., written in treble clef) is far more common so as to allow the player to use the same fingerings as they do when playing the standard clarinet. But this bass-...


4

Sax and clarinet are extremely similar in both embouchure and fingering. There would be a tremendous amount of skill transfer if you were to switch. That being said, soprano is sort of a side member of the saxophone family. Lots of music that calls for saxophones doesn't call for soprano. It would be more practical (and cheaper) to start on alto. my ...


3

I play in several community bands and a community orchestra. There are other BC players in most of these groups, and we all joke about the fact that no one else notices us, and conductors seldom pick on us; I noticed that in NJ State Band in the 1950s---we used to chuckle about it even then. Few paid attention to us; we figured they didn't hear us...we ...


2

Without an audio example, I can't say if there's an actual problem with your setup. If you're in a place with a strong bass clarinetist or music store, see if your mouthpiece/reed/instrument is a problem. But my sense is that it's probably not. The bass clarinet is really a misnamed instrument -- it's basically a tenor instrument. Many good composers write ...


2

I have really tried to find an explanation for this since I came across your question. I read some 130 pages in From the Clarinet d’Amour to the Contra Bass A History of Large Size Clarinets, 1740–1860 by Albert R. Rice, but it covers periods only up to late 19th century. Some Google searching found 2 threads (one mentions the other which mentions Rice's ...


2

If I want to be heard in a massive orchestra I use "plastic" reeds. Some do sound very sharp and loud. (Signature of Légère)


2

The instrumentation page in the Dover score is incorrect. If you closely look at the score and the parts you will see: Clarinet III plays Bass Clarinet II (and never plays A clarinet). Bass Clarinet I plays only bass (there is no Clarinet IV). So a total of nine instruments are needed. E♭, D I. B♭, A II. B♭, A III. B♭, bass bass Note: since D ...


1

It's not a trivial change, but it's probably one of the easier changes. The embouchure is obviously narrower, more akin to Bb clarinet. The fingerings are related, but sax fingering is somewhat easier anyway. You'll need to practice, but it will be easier than switching to, say, euphonium. Be aware that soprano sax is a bit more specialised than alto, ...


1

My research indicates that there are two standard sizes: "The diameter of the bore is defined by the instrument (or better: its type), because the mouthpiece must have the same bore as the rest of the instrument. This is for example 15,2 mm (equals 0.598 inch) for a German style A- or B flat clarinet and it is 14,9 mm (equals 0.587 inch) for an A or B flat ...


1

The shape of the mouthpiece is generally more important than the material, though ebonite/rubber is vastly more common among the better mouthpieces, so I would expect that to be the material of almost any reasonable choice. The real thing you want to figure out is how open you want the facing: There are a variety of other characteristics that can affect ...


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