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Alternative Sound World Techniques

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Introduction to the Clainet sound world

There many different techniques that you will hear on the different CDs that Mark has created. Just a few have been discribed on these pages. Mark will cataloge his work in time and publish the results. What you have noticed is the standard Bb clarinet is very open to this work as is the bass clarinet, the alto clarinet is causing many problems. The contra alto alternative sound world is amazing. This will be made avalible on Marks CD the 'Improvised Quartets'. Two have been recorded and more are planned. As you can guess each instrument has it's own particular fingering requirements as well as lip pressure and air pressure techniques making it very difficult.


Below is an examble of the fingering Mark uses to generate quartertones. Quartertones are notes that are found half way between semitones. There are 4 quartertones in a tone.


Below is an examble of the techniques Mark uses. Microtones are tones found betweem the semitones of our tempered scale. There are uncountable possibilities.


Multiphonics means to generate more than one sound at a time. All instruments produce a multitude of tones which is why we can tell the difference between one instrument and another. The area in which Mark is working is to find these tones and enlarge them so that they can be defined. Mark has then developed them, for examble, so that he can play a trill in the low register and have two or three very clear sounds floating above in the upper register.

Aleatory (latin 'a game of dice')

This is a very interesting area, aleatory means chance. Within musical realms one has no idea of the resulting sounds that will be generated from a given set fingering, lip pressures, air pressure, clarinet position and embrosure position.


The use of artifical harmonics and natural harmonics. The clarinet is easily able to sound bugle calls, play middle B and with lip pressure gradually pitch the first harmonic above the B, F# should sound. This can be used all the way up to produce what is known as the harmonic series. The F# we have created can be acheived by using different fingering this is termed as artifical harmonics.

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