12 Staple Clarinet Books for Fundamental Success

by Mitchell Estrin

Date Posted: March 19, 2018

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Since the development of the Boehm System clarinet in the nineteenth century, dozens of method books, etudes, and study materials have been written by leading players and teachers. There are a select few that have withstood the test of time, earning a secure and timeless place in clarinet history.

My hall of fame list is certainly not comprehensive, but highlights the books that are the staples of the foundational literature that I have studied for many years and regularly assign to my students.

Here are my twelve selections for the clarinet foundational book hall of fame:

  1. Carl Baermann - Celebrated Method for Clarinet, Op. 63 (This five part anthology contains the famous Baermann scales, which are the Third Division)

2. Cyrille Rose - 32 Etudes

3. Cyrille Rose - 40 Studies

4. Hyacinthe Klosé - Method for Clarinet (This volume contains the classic “Klosé Scales”.)

5. Ernesto Cavallini - 30 Caprices

6. Paul JeanJean - Vade-Mecum

7. Paul JeanJean – 18 Etudes

8. Fritz Kroepsch - 416 Progressive Daily Studies

9. Reginald Kell - 17 Staccato Studies

10. Alfred Uhl - 48 Studies

11. Kalmen Opperman - Daily Studies (In 3 volumes)

12. Norman Heim - The Development of the Altissimo Register for Clarinet

If you are a clarinetist, it is likely that you know these books! If you do not, these are some of the greatest of the great study materials and should become part of your daily foundational practice routine. If you are already familiar with these masterworks, revisit them to continue receiving the rich musical and technical rewards they offer for your hours of effort.

Happy practicing!

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