Category
Cross Over Break?
Range
Key Signatures
Time Signature/Tempo
Rhythms
Musicality Requirements
Special Considerations
Suggested Student Level
A
No
E3-Bb4
1#-1b
simple
simple
None
none
Beginner
B
No or simple (right hand down)
E3-Bb4 OR B4-C6
2#-2b, one accidental
simple
simple
Some tempo fluctuation, no tempo changes
none
First and Second Year
C
Yes
E3-C6
3#-3b, accidentals within key range
simple and compound
simple
simple ornamentation (single grace note or 1-2 trills)
none
Second Year
D
Yes
E3-E6 (slight use of altissimo)
4b-4#, simple key changes
simple and compound
intermediate
fermatas, one cadenza, common musical language, trills and grace notes do not cross the break
larger leap distances
Upper middle school
E
Yes
E3-E6
Key changes occur with tempo changes
simple and compound
intermediate
Tempo fluctuations do not require soloist to cue piano. Simple turns and mordents
none
Upper middle & lower high school
F
Yes
up to F6
All keys
simple and compound
Advanced
Some French expression markings. Ornamentation may cross break
Modern tonalities are possible
Advanced middle school, lower high school
G
Yes
up to G6
All keys
simple, compound, asymmetric
Advanced
Requires maturity
none
Mid high school
H
Yes
up to G6
All keys
simple, compound, asymmetric
Advanced
Requires maturity
Modern transcriptions or Baroque with written out ornamentation
Mid to upper high school
I
Yes
Possible extended range
All keys
simple, compound, asymmetric
Advanced
Requires maturity
none
mid to upper high school, undergraduate
J
Yes
Possible extended range
All keys
simple, compound, asymmetric
Advanced
Maturity
Difficulty when adding accompaniment
Advanced high school to upper college
K
Yes
Extended range
All keys, atonal or challenging tonality
simple, compound, asymmetric
Advanced
Requires extreme maturity
Possible extended techniques
Graduate level
 
  • This site utilizes Scientific Pitch Notation.  C4 refers to middle C, therefore the range of the clarinet is from E3 to C7

  • The clarinet has 3 range categories: chalumeau, clarion, and altissimo.  Occasionally a fourth, throat tones, is added.  Chalumeau refers to the range of E3 to Bb4 (throat tones would include G4 to Bb4).  Clarion refers to B4 to C6 and Altissimo refers to C#6 to C7.

  • Three types of meters are discussed on this site: simple, compound, and asymmetric.  Simple refers to meters with a duple subdivision (i.e. 4/4, 2/4, 2/2, etc).  Compound refers to meters with triple subdivision (i.e. 6/8, 9/8, 12/8, etc).  Asymmetric refers to any meter that contains a combination of duple and triple subdivision (i.e. 7/8, 5/8, 8/8,etc).

  • The term “tempo fluctuation” refers to any direction to alter the tempo in a piece.  This would include ritard, accelerando, rallentando, and other similar terms.

  • Definitions of rhythm difficulty levels: Simple includes basic rhythms up to sixteenth notes and triplets.  Simple dotted rhythms are also included.  Intermediate introduces simple syncopation, some 32nd notes, quarter note triplets, subdivided counting, and similar rhythms. Advanced introduces more difficult syncopation, rhythms that place 6 or more notes on one beat, triple rhythms against duple (possible between clarinet and accompaniment), and other advanced rhythms.