13 Things That Frighten Even the Bravest Clarinetist
To paraphrase Bette Davis, “playing clarinet ain’t no place for sissies!” The mental fortitude and nerves of steel required for a career as a musician vanquish many a hopeful clarinetist. However, there are some things that terrify even the bravest of clarinetists:
- chipped reeds
- altissimo register on the E-flat clarinet
- bass clef
- cracks in your clarinet
- playing reeds after extreme environmental changes
- Nielsen, Francaix, and/or Corigliano concertos
- Peter and the Wolf, Ginastera, Bartered Bride, Daphnis, Scherzo, etc
- d# minor (or the dreaded key signature of your choice)
- quick clarinet changes in orchestra
- unexpected appearances of C clarinet in orchestral music with no advance warning
- moldy reeds
- alto clarinet (can be substituted for your least favourite auxiliary instrument of choice)
Disclaimer: This is intended to be light-hearted humour, so please don’t take any of these too seriously. I salute all the brave clarinetists out there who deal with all of these (and more) on a regular basis!
No. 5 ist my worst nightmare…
Can’t imagine seeing a crack on my Wurlitzers … very emotional reason the way I’m connected to these instruments
This is one of my worst nightmares…let’s hope it doesn’t happen to either of our clarinets!
Robert G. Monie
To number 7, I’d add the clarinet concertos by Elliot Carter, Mangus Lindberg, and Kalevi Aho.
These are all very frightening (but wonderful music)!