E{{flat}} piccolo clarinet

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steltz
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E{{flat}} piccolo clarinet

Postby steltz » Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:13 am

A student of mine pointed out that we tag for every type of flute but E{{flat}} piccolo clarinet is still lumped in with soprano clarinets. I am about to tag Cavallini's Carnival of Venice for E{{flat}} piccolo clarinet and was wondering if we should create a tag for this instrument?
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Davydov
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Re: E{{flat}} piccolo clarinet

Postby Davydov » Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:49 pm

As we have a tag for bass clarinet, we could have an equivalent for the piccolo clarinet — "pcl" would be the obvious choice.

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Re: E{{flat}} piccolo clarinet

Postby steltz » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:28 pm

Thanks I'll tag the Baermanns.
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Melodia
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Re: E{{flat}} piccolo clarinet

Postby Melodia » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:06 am

The Eb isn't the piccolo clarinet however, the /Ab/ is.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piccolo_clarinet

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Re: E{{flat}} piccolo clarinet

Postby Davydov » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:19 am

To quote more fully from Wikipedia: "The piccolo clarinets are members of the clarinet family, smaller and higher pitched than the more familiar high soprano clarinets in E♭ and D. None are common, but the most often used piccolo clarinet is the A♭ clarinet, sounding a minor seventh higher than the B♭ clarinet. The boundary between the piccolo and soprano clarinets is not well-defined, and the rare instruments in G and F might be considered as either. Shackleton along with many early twentieth-century composers uses the term "piccolo clarinet" to refer to the E♭ and D clarinets as well (piccolo merely meaning "small" in Italian). This designation is less common today, with the E♭ and D instruments more usually designated soprano clarinets".

So we could use 'pcl' for the A♭, G and F clarinets (to be tagged as 'piccolo clarinets'), and 'scl' for the instruments in E♭ and D ('soprano clarinets'). But would this be readily understood by clarinettists, or is the difference between 'soprano' and 'piccolo' still a subject of debate? I'll hold off creating any new categories until we get a few more views.

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Re: E{{flat}} piccolo clarinet

Postby steltz » Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:32 pm

Even among clarinetists, piccolo generally is used for Eb/D, because that's as high as orchestral composers went.

It might be technically wrong, but the fact is that we only use 4 main types today, from bottom up -- bass, alto Bb/A (by default this becomes soprano because it's higher than alto), and then Eb/D ends up being piccolo. The problem is undoubtedly a lack of a tenor designation, which probably should have been used for the alto.

I seem to remember seeing orchestral parts with the designation "piccolo" on the Eb and D parts, but I will have to see if I can find them now.

Ab, G, and F clarinets are out of use except in a historical sense.

Let me do some more research and get back . . .
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Re: E{{flat}} piccolo clarinet

Postby Melodia » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:53 pm

As the Wikipedia page said, some 20th century composers used 'piccolo clarinet' for Eb in their scores, however, one must also remember than alto flutes are occasionally called bass flutes (for instance in The Planets).

And I believe Abs are often used in European bands. But that's about it, though they are certainly easily acquired by anyone, for not unreasonable prices either (i.e. they don't have to be custom made or anything).

Personally I'd just go with the key as the designation, myself.


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