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Original Clarinet Quartet Works of Mike Curtis and Josh Spaulding: An Analysis and Performance Guide

Jennifer A Reeves, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The clarinet quartet genre is a popular chamber ensemble for the instrument and is one that has little to no history available discussing its origins and development. Following a brief theoretical history of the clarinet quartet genre, the works of two 21st century composers are explored throughout the remainder of the document. Mike Curtis and Josh Spaulding’s compositions for clarinet quartet are extraordinary examples of the works that exist for this chamber ensemble. A biography and compositional background is supplied for each composer, followed by individual chapters discussing the composers’ original works for clarinet quartet that utilize the instrumentation of four B-flat soprano clarinets or three B-flat soprano clarinets and B-flat bass clarinet. Those works are: Bulgarian Bat Bite, Global Tour, Polyglot, and Mexican Fantasies by Mike Curtis and Conversial Hairbows, Shadows of Ourselves, and Trois Emblèmes de la Solitude by Josh Spaulding. Each chapter provides an analysis of the work as well as a performance guide to provide ensembles with useful information. The composers’ use of form, tonality, instrumentation, avant garde techniques, hocket, chordal building, canon, panning effect, use of dynamics, and other techniques are further illustrated by the use of graphic illustrations in tables and musical examples.

Subject Area

Music|Music education

Recommended Citation

Reeves, Jennifer A, "Original Clarinet Quartet Works of Mike Curtis and Josh Spaulding: An Analysis and Performance Guide" (2017). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI10272028.