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  • MoBa Alternate Fingerings for Throat TonesBy Ricardo Morales

  • 2

    IntroductionThe purpose of this booklet is to maintain our collective curiosity about the myriad of possibilities to be expressive with the clarinet. There have been many books on fingerings printed in the past. Hopefully, there will be many more in the future. However, if you are able to find even one fingering useful, the mission of this booklet will be accomplished. More than anything, I would like to encourage you to use your imagination to further expand on the information given. There are several pages in the back of this booklet with blank fingering diagrams for you to discover your own alternate fingerings, or to share with your colleagues. It should also be noted that some fingerings may vary in effectiveness, depending on the brand of instrument and mouthpiece played, and ultimately, the ability and sensitivity of you, the artist.

    How to Use This BookletThe highlighted tone holes are those that need to be covered. Please keep in mind that, at times, alternate fingerings will call for semi-closed tone holes. The highlighted keys are the ones that need to be actuated.

    It is very important to understand that, while having alternate fingerings is useful, they are only as useful as ones level of musicianship and sensitivity. This is a guide to encourage critical musical thinking and, as such, it should remind us to think of the clarinet as a tool of expression.

    Good luck,

    Ricardo Morales

    Principal Clarinet, The Philadelphia Orchestra Co-Developer, MoBa Clarinets and Accessories by Backun Clarinet Faculty, The Curtis Institute of Music Clarinet Faculty, Temple University

  • 3

    About Throat Tone FingeringsBecause the throat notes use the shortest amount of the bore to resonate, it is advisable to use resonance fingerings that can elongate the tube to improve the tone, solidify the intonation and smooth the transition to the upper register. In this case, it is advisable to choose fingerings that can be used consistently.

  • 4Open G

    Fingerings for Open G1. A warm and clear fingering that helps lower the intonation,

    while adding a little resistance helpful in register changes.

    Example: Sibelius, Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 39, First Mvt. m10

    Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90, First Mvt.

    mm2324, Solo m36

    Debussy, Premire Rhapsodie m2, m14

    2. A dark, clear and focused fingering, good for transitions. Can be used without the left-hand 3rd finger to make it a little darker, but sharper.

    Example: Schubert, The Shepherd on the Rock, D. 965

    Weber, Variations, Op. 33 m13

    Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90, First Mvt.

    m23, m35

    3. Similar to Fingering 2, but easier transitioning to the upper register.

  • 5Open G

    1 2 32a1 2 32a1 2 32a1 2 32a1 1a 2 31 1a 2 3

  • 6Throat A

    Fingerings for Throat A

    1. A warm, solid fingering that can be the standard fingering, as it blends well, and works well the with A and B. This fingering also slurs well to the upper clarion and matches, in color, with long B and C.

    Example: Debussy, Premire Rhapsodie m5

    Bartok, The Miraculous Mandarin m14

    (through the rest of the solo)

    1a. For the excerpt below, use this alternate fingering.

    Example: Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90, First Mvt. m36

    (if performed on B Clarinet)

    2. A duller fingering that can be used to ease the transition to the upper register.

    3. The clearest, most powerful and versatile fingering for A.Example: Nielsen, Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, Op. 57 [D.F.129]

    First Solo

    Shostakovich, Symphony No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 10:

    1. First Mvt. First 3 measures after Rehearsal 1

    2. Second Mvt. Five measures after Rehearsal 1

  • 7Throat A

    1 1a 2 31 1a 2 31 1a 2 31 1a 2 31 1a 2 31 1a 2 3

  • 8Throat A

    Fingerings for Throat A

    1. A very warm and useful fingering, and one that works especially well on the neighboring half-steps A/B to create evenness and smoothness. This fingering transitions well to the upper register.

    Examples: Debussy, Petite Pice m1

    Debussy, Premire Rhapsodie m12

    Beethoven, Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68, First Mvt.

    Solo Before G, mm291297 and Solo After K, m477, mm480481

    1a. Similar to above with a slightly different resonance.

    2. Dark and focused, this fingering also tends to have more glow and works well slurring to C and B. It tends to be a little sharper than Fingering 1.

    Example: Weber, Concertino in E Major, Op. 26 Introduction

    2a. Similar to above with a slightly different resonance.

    3. A very resonant, dark and clear fingering. While it may be a bit awkward, with practice it can become one of the standards. It slurs well to the upper register and is extremely stable for intonation and is flexible in color.

    Example: Finzi, Five Bagatelles: II. Romance m1

    Brahms, Clarinet Sonata No. 2, Op. 120, No. 2 m1

    Weber, Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 73,

    Second Mvt. m1

    Puccini, Tosca, E Lucevan le stelle Solo

    3a. Similar to above with a slightly different resonance.

    Example: Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90, Second Mvt. m1

    Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14, Third Mvt.

    Five measures after Rehearsal 43

  • 9Throat A

    1 1a 2 2a 3 3a1 1a 2 2a 3 3a1 1a 2 2a 3 3a1 1a 2 2a 3 3a1 1a 2 2a 3 3a1 1a 2 2a 3 3a

  • 10Throat A (cont.)

    Fingerings for Throat A3b. Less resonant, but a lovely, dark sound at softer dynamics.

    Recommended for delicate passages.

    Example: Finzi, Five Bagatelles: II. Romance

    4. Not as resonant as Fingering 3, but it will still stabilize the pitch and is useful when a passage requires resonance.

    Example: Beethoven, Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68, Fifth Mvt.

    Solo, mm34

    5. Similar in both color and resonance to Fingering 3, but may be easier to access in different passages.

    Example: Beethoven, Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68, Third Mvt.

    mm124125

    Shostakovich, Symphony No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 10, First Mvt.

    Second Measure after Rehearsal 1

  • 11Throat A (cont.)

    3b 4 53b 4 53b 4 53b 4 53b 4 53b 4 5

  • 12Throat B

    Fingerings for Throat B

    1. Good standard fingering. Works well when playing neighboring A or A.Example: Debussy, Premire Rhapsodie m5

    2. Perhaps the best overall fingering for Open B. This fingering is resonant, clear and keeps the intonation lower and more stable.

    Example: Sibelius, Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 39, First Mvt.

    Beginning Solo, m5

    Puccini, Tosca, E lucevan le stelle Solo

    3. This fingering is especially warm. It tends to be sharper than Fingerings 2 or 4, but blends well, especially in passages that have the throat A.

    4. Clear and resonant. Slurs well to the upper register. It also works with the side trill key B.Example: Shostakovich, Symphony No. 9 in E Major, Op. 70, Second Mvt.

    Solo m8, m10

    Sibelius, Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 39, First Mvt. Solo m12

    Weber, Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 73,

    First Mvt. m86

    4a. Not as resonant as Fingering 4, but works well in intimate passages.

    Example: Brahms, Clarinet Sonata No. 1, Op. 120,

    No. 1, Third Mvt. Beginning

  • 13Throat B

    1 2 3 4 4a1 2 3 4 4a1 2 3 4 4a1 2 3 4 4a1 2 3 4 4a

  • 14Additional Fingerings

    Additional Fingerings

  • 15Additional Fingerings

    Additional Fingerings

  • 16Additional Fingerings

    Additional Fingerings

  • 17

    Ricardo Morales is one of the most sought after clarinetists of today. He joined The Philadelphia Orchestra as principal clarinet in 2003, having held the same position with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since the age of 21, under the direction of James Levine.His virtuosity and artistry as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician have been hailed and recognized in concert halls around the world. He has been asked to perform as principal clarinetist with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and at the invitation of Sir Simon Rattle, as principal clarinet with the Berlin

    Philharmonic. He also performs as principal clarinetist with the Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra and the Mito Chamber Orchestra, at the invitation of Maestro Seiji Ozawa.

    A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Morales began his studies at the Escuela Libre de Musica, along with his five siblings, who are all distinguished musicians. He continued his studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and Indiana University, where he received an Artist Diploma.

    He has been a featured soloist with many orchestras, including: the Metropolitan

    Opera Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Seoul Philharmonic and the Flemish Radio Symphony. During his tenure with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Mr. Morales soloed under the baton of James Levine in Carnegie Hall and on two European tours. He made his solo debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2004 with Charles Dutoit and has since performed as soloist on numerous occasions.

    An active chamber musician, Mr. Morales has performed in the MET Chamber Ensemble series at Carnegies Weill Recital Hall with James Levine at the piano, at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Seattle Chamber Music Summer Festival, the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, on NBCsThe Today Show, and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has performed with many distinguished ens