A Comprehensive Performance Project In Clarinet Literature With an Essay On the Use of Extended, Or New, Technique In Selected Unaccompanied Clarinet Solos Published From 1960 Through 1987

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Advisor

Albert E. Gower

Advisor Department



The number of new performance techniques available to the clarinetist has been greatly expanded during the past thirty years. These techniques, which are referred to in this study as extended techniques, include: articulative modifications, breath or air sounds, flutter-tongue, glissandi and portamenti, hand pops, key clicks, microtonal pitches, microtonal trills, mouthpiece alone, multiphonics, multiphonic trills and tremolos, mutes, pitch or lip bends, pitch extensions, slap tongue, singing while playing, subtone, teeth on reed, throat tremolo, timbral variance, unison or timbral trills, and vibrato. This study examined the use of these extended techniques in the literature for unaccompanied solo clarinet. Performance analyses of six selected works reveal the relationship that exists between extended techniques and the structural design of each work. An additional forty-seven published works for solo clarinet are included in an annotated bibliography that identifies the types of extended techniques used, and the context in which each appears. There is also a discography of works for solo clarinet that utilize extended technique. A survey of professional clarinetists and teachers was used to assist in the choice of the six works for the performance analyses. These works include Ronald Caravan's Excursion for A Clarinet (1974), John Eaton's Concert Music for Solo Clarinet (1961), Donald Martino's B,a,b,b,it,t for Clarinet in C with Extensions (1966), William Pottebaum's Microsuite for Solo Clarinet (1979), Shulamit Ran's For an Actor: Monologue for Clarinet (1978), and William O. Smith's Variants for Solo Clarinet (1963). This study reveals a wealth of existing literature for unaccompanied solo clarinet utilizing extended techniques. It suggests that extended techniques often contribute significantly to the musical and structural designs of the works in which they appear, and that they are capable of producing satisfying musical results. The study furthermore concludes that extended techniques will be an important factor in the development of future clarinet literature.