Which Concerto You Should Practice Next, According to Your Clarinet’s Serial Number

If you’re looking for new repertoire ideas to practice this summer, look no further!

Here’s how you can use your clarinet’s serial number to generate your next concerto:

  1. Locate  the serial number on your clarinet.
  2. Add all the digits together.
  3. Take the sum from Step 2 and add the digits together until you have a single digit sum.
  4. Check the list below to see which piece corresponds to your single digit sum.
  5. Go practice!


If your serial number is 379125 you would add 3+7+9+1+2+5 to get 27. Add 2+7 to get 9.

Use your single digit sum to find your next piece to practice:

  1. Aaron Copland – Concerto
  2. Paul Hindemith – Concerto
  3. Artie Shaw – Concerto
  4. Carl Nielsen – Concerto, Op. 57
  5. Jean Francaix – Concerto
  6. Henri Tomasi – Concerto
  7. Julius Rietz – Concerto, Op. 29
  8. Malcolm Arnold – Concerto No. 2, Op. 115
  9. Gerald Finzi – Concerto

Happy practicing!


  • Dan

    I have to admit I have no idea who’s Jean Francaix, but that’s what my serial says so I’m going to learn about him and his concerto.

  • Hans Doerrscheidt

    As much as I love Artie Shaw, I have never been able to understand how his “Concerto” made it into the canon. I mean he basically improvised over the harmonic scheme of a 12 bar blues, plus a cadenza here and there. That’s what it is from a “jazz” point of view. And the fact that he did not envision his solo as “carved-in-stone” is obvious from the alternate recording on Hep CD 19 (Artie Shaw – Hollywood Palladium 1941).

    To me, trying to assimilate his great clarinet playing, growing out of improvisatory skills!, by reproducing his transcribed solo does not do justice to either world, “jazz” or “classical”.

    P.S. While I am bitching, why on earth didn’t Francaix write the “Concerto” for the A clarinet??

    • jennymaclay

      Hi Hans, I happen to like the Shaw Concerto, but I realize that music is very subjective and you make some valid points! I’ve tried to include a few concerti that aren’t Mozart/Weber/etc (although those are masterpieces for a reason!). As for the Francaix, my friend arranged the entire concerto for A clarinet, and it’s still miserably difficult. I guess in this situation, we have to pick our poison! ;)

      • Hans Doerrscheidt

        That’s the problem with Francaix, one still *wants* to play it, regardless of difficulty, just because it’s so great. I transposed his “Tema con variazioni” for Bb clarinet for myself, which made some variations easier, but the final one was the price to pay. E major isn’t F major, after all :-(
        As for Shaw, have you heard Shaw’s “Interlude in Bb” or his late 40s classical adventures?

        • jennymaclay

          I love the Francaix Concerto, despite it’s difficulty. I guess we earn the privilege to complain about it! That’s a great idea to transpose the Tema con variazioni – I’m sure certain sections were much easier! And I have heard the Interlude in Bb and much of his other music. I don’t play much jazz myself, but I turn to him for inspiration when I try :)

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