Müller, Nora-Louise: The Bohlen-Pierce Clarinet
Theoretical Aspects and Contemporary Applications
Abstract Repertoire in Bohlen-Pierce (BP) tuning has grown significantly since the debut of BP clarinets in 2008. Literature specifically dedicated to the BP clarinet, on the other hand, is still rare. Practice-led research conducted by the author provides useful materials about the BP soprano and tenor clarinets, such as contemporary playing techniques or acoustical conditions. The current state of repertoire is shown; exemplary analyses of compositions featuring one or more BP clarinets are given. A new BP specific notation is introduced; it has been developed from a practical point of view and has gained great acceptance among musicians performing in BP. Beside using BP as the (only) tuning system in compositions, it is also possible to combine BP with other scales to achieve effects of extended tonalities or rich microtonal structures. Multiphonics as a very popular phenomenon in contemporary woodwind music are highlighted, providing fingering charts and notational suggestions for both BP soprano and BP tenor clarinets. The theoretical idea of a BP third-tone scale (39div3) is transferred into practice by providing fingering charts and practical advice to performers and composers. I hope that this thesis can give inspiration and advice to those motivated to compose for and perform on BP clarinets, and that BP clarinets will gain the popularity they deserve in contemporary music performance. The BP clarinet and its growing repertoire may widen the range of expression of dedicated clarinet players.