Pacemaker (for 4 or more Bb Clarinets)

By: Alun Cook
For: Quartet of Clarinets in Bb
page one of Pacemaker (for 4 or more Bb Clarinets)

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Alun Cook
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
5 minutes
Modern classical music
License details
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Conceived as a slightly tangential piece incorporating tone-changing and a metronome, but it is tonal and "audience-friendly". I have since re-written it so that it may be performed equally well without the metronome and renamed "Pacemaker". It is your choice! The sets of music are identical. Written for a minimum of 4 Bb clarinets, the parts can easily be doubled up to make a much larger ensemble.

If you like being theatrical then use the metronome. Ideally use an old-fashioned, wooden, clockwork metronome, placed centrally and ceremonially on a stool in centre-stage and start before the performers go on stage (a stage-hand in a white coat or other costume, perhaps?). Performers should then walk on in sequence for their entries. The metronome will need to be loud enough for the performers to hear clearly. If you have a clockwork metronome, wind it up so that it lasts for the duration of the performance (about 5min 20secs) so that it runs down soon after the performers have finished. If you need to use an electronic metronome or an iPhone App, get a stage-hand (or performer) to carry it off-stage at the end of the performance (still "ticking"), ideally down a long corridor so that you hear it "ticking" further and further away for as long as possible.

Although the piece uses tone-changing (fingerings are marked) it is not hard to play - except, of course, that you need to be able to play in time to a metronome!!

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