• Which historical clarinetist shares your astrological sign?

    Want to feel more connected to historical clarinetists? Look below and see which historical clarinetists share your astrological sign! Note: This is not a comprehensive list of historical clarinetists. We are #blessed to have so many incredible musicians throughout history, and this is just a small sample of historical clarinetists and their birthdays. Want to learn more about clarinet history?…

  • How learning extended techniques can make you a better clarinetist

    Confession time! I used to have a complicated relationship with extended clarinet techniques. I used to think that double tonguing was just a technique so you didn’t have to work on polishing your single tonguing. I used to think that multiphonics were unnecessary. And circular breathing? It seemed too difficult to do well! But you know what? I was completely…

  • How to make an awesome audition recording

    It’s getting close to the end of the year, which means it’s time for… Audition recordings! Whether you’re auditioning for university, orchestras, or other opportunities, you want to create a polished and professional product to stand out from the crowd. Here’s some advice to help you make an awesome audition recording: Plan way in advance. The number one mistake I…

  • How to make your clarinet articulation lighter

    In my opinion, one of the most difficult clarinet techniques to do with polish and pizzazz (and eventually speed) is articulation. Once you’ve gotten the hang of the basics (click here for my complete guide to clarinet articulation), a common complaint I hear is that the articulation is too heavy. Playing with heavy articulation presents a few problems: It lessens…

  • Musical Phrenology and the Case of the Missing Composers’ Skulls

    Classical music lovers celebrate the life and legacy of titans such as Mozart, Bach, Brahms, Mahler, and many others by listening to and performing their music. We study their lives and musical legacies to try and learn more about their ideas and inspirations. Some people take other routes. Throughout history, people have tried to study the human body to learn…

  • 13 Italian Music Vocabulary Words Perfect for Halloween

    Whether you’re composing or just want to learn some new words to add to your music lexicon, here are a few Italian words which are perfect for Halloween (all taken from the music dictionary pictured above): con abbandono – with reckless abandon; highly emotional (no, it doesn’t mean abandoned, as in a haunted house) adiratamente – angrily amarissimo/angoscioso – with…

  • Secret Societies in Clarinet History

    In addition to the abundance of clarinet history’s unsolved mysteries, there is also evidence of secret societies in clarinet history. Most notably is Austrian clarinetist Anton Stadler (1752-1812), who is well-known as “Mozart’s clarinetist.” Mozart and Stadler became good friends and were both fellow Freemasons during the latter half of the 18th century. There are many rumors, mysteries, and even…

  • How this famous composer of clarinet music inspired the Phantom of the Opera

    Did you know that one of clarinet history’s most celebrated composers might be responsible for partially inspiring Gaston Leroux’s novel The Phantom of the Opera? A bit of background: Even if you haven’t read the book, you’re probably familiar with the story of The Phantom of the Opera. A quick primer for anyone who’s unfamiliar: a mysterious phantom named Erik…

  • Fun Encore Pieces for Clarinet

    The clarinet is #blessed with a large and varied repertoire of works, from solo pieces to chamber ensemble. There are several more “serious” works (looking at you Brahms) that are great for recitals, but it’s also nice to balance these with shorter and more lighthearted pieces to use as an encore. Here are a few fun encore pieces for clarinet:…