Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Committee Member

Marina Sturm

Second Committee Member

Cheryl Taranto

Third Committee Member

Stephen Caplan

Fourth Committee Member

Ken Hanlon

Fifth Committee Member

Margot Mink Colbert

Number of Pages



The bass clarinet of the twenty-first century has come into its own. Composers often treat it as a solo instrument and clarinetists are more often expected to play bass clarinet. In the last half of the twentieth century, the amount of literature for bass clarinet has grown and the quality of the instruments have improved exponentially. Still, most university studios focus primarily on B-flat clarinet. This document is intended as a pedagogical guide for the inclusion of the bass clarinet in the clarinet studio. As support for incorporating the bass clarinet into the undergraduate curriculum, this document describes three areas of development: historical, pedagogical, and the development of literature. In addition, a survey and interviews were conducted in order to gain perspective on current attitudes about teaching and playing bass clarinet. Participants in the study consist of leading bass clarinet pedagogues in higher education, soloists/specialists, and orchestral players known internationally. Chapter 1 focuses on the history of the bass clarinet, beginning with the evolution of bass clarinet designs, followed by an overview of its changing role in the orchestra, chamber ensemble, band, and as a solo instrument. Chapter 2 focuses on pedagogy beginning with performance issues unique to the bass clarinet, followed by an examination of curricula from various types of university programs including those that offer specialty degrees in bass clarinet, those with degrees in multiple woodwind performance, and those with only a foundation in B-flat clarinet studies. Chapter 3 provides a selected, annotated bibliography of bass clarinet literature and criteria for suggested levels of study. Categories of music include “Warm-ups,” “Scale Studies,” “Methods, Guides and Studies,” “Orchestral Excerpts,” “Concerti,” “Works with Piano,” and “Unaccompanied Solo Bass Clarinet.” Chapter 4 is a culmination of the previous chapters and begins with results from the bass clarinet questionnaire, followed by the suggested course guide. The guide ranks literature appropriate for students from freshmen through graduate and professional levels. Bass clarinet literature is shown in conjunction with clarinet literature.


Bass clarinet; Clarinet; Curriculum; History; Literature; Music – Instruction and study; Pedagogy; Performance


Curriculum and Instruction | Music | Music Education | Performance Studies | Theatre and Performance Studies

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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