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Topic: clarinet expression

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  1. #1

    Question clarinet expression

    I'm just starting to play with GPO. One of the first things I tried was to make a clarinet line that was "expressive". I'm trying to do this with a melody where there are lots of long held notes. My instinctual reaction is to want to bring in vibrato on the sustained notes. But I can't figure out how to do that.

    Is vibrato not idiomatically correct for a clarinet? How does one keep whole notes (and longer) from sounding static or boring? Moving the expression slider around a bit didn't seem to help as much as I'd have hoped, but perhaps that's the only option I have? Or am I missing a clarinet vibrato option somewhere?

    Thanks much!

    -glenn

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: clarinet expression

    Clarinet's vibrato is not usual for classical playing. You could hear it in jazz, or contemporary setting, though.
    Kentaro Sato (Ken-P)
    Composer/Conductor/Orchestrator
    www.wisemanproject.com

  3. #3

    Re: clarinet expression

    Quote Originally Posted by glittle
    Is vibrato not idiomatically correct for a clarinet? How does one keep whole notes (and longer) from sounding static or boring? Moving the expression slider around a bit didn't seem to help as much as I'd have hoped, but perhaps that's the only option I have? Or am I missing a clarinet vibrato option somewhere?
    As KenP wrote, it's not idiomatic for the clarinet to play vibrato in a classical setting. Therefore, this becomes yet another orchestration "rule": don't play long exposed melodic notes on the clarinet, unless you want a "white tone". Faster playing works, and you can use other articulations, like staccato and sforzando to make things interesting. Using clarinets for sustained chordal pads is very idiomatic, however. Also, one might choose a double-reed for sustained expressive solo lines.

    Still, I think GPO should allow clarinet vibrato, since it is possible on the instrument. One might be writing a klezmer or jazz piece. Even an orchestral composer might specify clarinet vibrato as a special effect.

    -JF

  4. #4

    Re: clarinet expression

    I suspect that the new Jazz Big Band library might have clarinets with vibrato.
    dpDan

  5. #5

    Re: clarinet expression

    Jon and Dan,

    It always surprises me when something that I thought was, by now, common GPO knowledge is apparently still a deep, dark secret! Clarinet (along with several other NV solo instruments) has had the ability to do vibrato since last fall's update. The information is contained on p.16 of the update documentation - http://www.garritan.com/support/GPOUpdate.pdf You know, I should have realized that if I hid it in plain sight no one would ever find it! Who knows what other goodies might be lurking in that update documentation?

    One correction in the documentation: The sentence at the end of the section on vibrato mentions cc131. The substitution of cc131 *only* applies to M-Audio keyboards.

    Have fun with your newly enabled Klezmer/Jazz clarinet parts!

    Tom

  6. #6

    Re: clarinet expression

    Well dummy me again, I don't use the X-Custom folder, so I guess that's why I didn't think of it.

    I have never even messed with the added feature of controlling vibrato in the NV instruments.
    I guess I should huh?
    Especially when you took the time to set that up.

    Thanks again Tom.
    Dan

  7. #7

    Re: clarinet expression

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken-P
    Clarinet's vibrato is not usual for classical playing. You could hear it in jazz, or contemporary setting, though.
    You are right, it's not usual in classical playing, but it should be instead of the anaemic non-vibrato that is usual. Just listen to Richard Stolzman's sublime playing in the Beethoven and Brahms trios. That ought to convince everybody.

    So my advice to Glenn would be to write all the long clarinet notes you like, and require that the player plays con vibrato. And use CC#17 (vib speed) and CC#131(vib intensity) with GPO.

    BTW, how about a way to control the vibrato in strings. That would be REALLY nice!!! Could we hope for GPOA?

  8. #8

    Re: clarinet expression

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN
    . . . I don't use the X-Custom folder, so I guess that's why I didn't think of it.
    Dan
    The vibrato feature is in all folders, not just the X-Custom. When I'm listening to various user demos and hear someone doing e.g. an exposed trumpet solo in an orchestration I think to myself that the subtle addition of just the right vibrato could improve it immeasurably. I don't think I've yet heard vibrato applied properly in that situation. But the feature is there to be used if anyone wants to give it a try.

    Tom

  9. #9

    Re: clarinet expression

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie Fønshauge
    So my advice to Glenn would be to write all the long clarinet notes you like, and require that the player plays con vibrato. And use CC#17 (vib speed) and CC#131(vib intensity) with GPO.

    BTW, how about a way to control the vibrato in strings. That would be REALLY nice!!! Could we hope for GPOA?
    Just to clarify: cc131 controls vibrato intensity only on M-Audio keyboards. For everyone else the controller to use for intensity is *Aftertouch.*

    Tom

    P.S. Just about forgot: There's hope for vibrato in GPO-A solo strings. We'll see.

  10. #10

    Re: clarinet expression

    Cool. I'll give it a try tomorrow. Is this all in the "X-Custom Optional Folders" update? Part of the description for that says "Most users will not need this optional addition." Or is there a different download that I'm missing?

    -glenn

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