Today I wrote studies for clarinet and flute I used different scales so I could understand and learn about the intervals and characteristics of each scale. I wrote the flute study with the middle Eastern scale as I thought with the clear and pure sound of the flute it would be the perfect choice.
The Study is 24 bars long, 12 bars in the major and 12 in the minor. The study is written in a mix of 3/4 and 4/4 just to maintain interest. In doing this I learned exactly how this technique can help shape the melody line and phrases that I write. In bar 3 – I state all of the scale that I intend on using. This then lands solidly on the D as the tonal centre of the piece. Bars 6, 7, 8 and 9 bring a rhythmic contrast to the piece.
In the bars 12-24, I followed an idea from Gordon Jacobs Seven Bagatelles, I used the interval of a 4th but used the notes of the minor eighth note scale instead. The fact that I used a Bb instantly announces the presence of the minor key. I used triplets because I wanted relationship between bars 1-12 and 13-24th bars. Bar 19 is a direct rhythmic copy of bar 10. The study builds from 21 to climax on the tonal center D before ending on the sub-dominant fourth G.
The second study I wrote was the same format as my Middle Eastern Study – in that it is 24 bars 12 bars major and 12 bars in the minor. I had a lot of fun writing this! Having been in the pit orchestra for Fiddler on the Roof the obvious choice had to be clarinet!
To compliment the character of a clarinet I started the study with a gliss from the dominant to the tonic. The semi quaver triplets are a slight nod to the theme from poirot. I tried to incorporate the full range of the clarinet for the player. I slightly augmented the rhythm in bar 4 from the previous bar. We eventually morendo towards the end of the first half of the study.
The Second Half of the study is a complete rhythmic contrast to the first half. I could not resist the mathematical link in the first 2 bars of A and the 2nd two bars. While they are all noted of the minor Eastern European scale, Bars 3 and 4 of A are transposed down a third. Bar 5 starts the trend of the rest of the study as from bar 19 we descend down through the scale to the tonic of D.