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Beginning Clarinet Songbook

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Welcome to the Beginning Clarinet Songbook

Lesson 9: Melody
Articulation: Slurs

Follow the links below for more information on each song, as well as pictures and helpful links.

Song #1: A Shady City of Palm Trees

Song #2: Clarobotoo Travels to Switzerland and Marvels at the Beauty of the Alps

Song #3: The Kumquat Tree

Song #4: Wide Open Spaces

Song #5: Klara Nett's Summer Song

Song #6: Traveling on the Highway at Night

The elements of music in Lesson 9:

Sound: Pitches used in this lesson: A through A
Dynamics used in these pieces: forte, mezzo forte, mezzo piano, and piano
Rhythm: Time signatures used in this lesson: two-four, three-four, four-four
Note values used in this lesson: eighth notes, eighth rests, quarter notes, quarter rests, half notes, half rests, dotted half notes, whole notes, and whole rests
Melody: phrases, breath marks, slurs

The term articulation refers to how we start and finish each note. All of the music you have played so far in Beginning Clarinet Songbook has required you to tongue every single note. There are several other types of articulation, though. In this lesson we will learn how to slur notes.

The slur is a curved line that connects two or more pitches. It looks just like the tie which you learned in Lesson 2. However, slurs connect different pitches while ties connect notes that are the same pitch.

Here is an example of a short phrase that has a slur. You should tongue only the first note. For the rest of the phrase keep the air moving and change pitches only by moving your fingers. Do not tongue any other notes.

An example of a slurred phrase

If a slurred phrase has two or more of the same pitches played in a row, you should lightly tongue the repeated pitches. In the example below, you should lightly tongue the E that occurs on beat 3 in the first measure.

A slur with the same pitch twice in a row

However, if there is a tie between those two pitches, you should not tongue the tied notes. In the next example, the two E’s are tied together, so you do not tongue the E that occurs on beat 3. The only note you will tongue is the one at the beginning of the slur at the beginning of the phrase.

A slur with tied notes

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For more educational tools for the clarinet, please visit www.ClarinetSpace.com and www.MetronomeBot.com

Thank you.
Kyle Coughlin

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