Music Spotlight: Rhapsody by Willson Osborne

One of the great unaccompanied clarinet solos is Rhapsody by Willson Osborne. The difficulty is rated medium to medium difficult (grade 4-5), and is definitely approachable by a high school player. Osborne keeps the music very interesting and there is plenty of opportunity for expressive and technical playing.

The Rhapsody is very enjoyable to play and listen to. At only 4 1/2 minutes in length, it works well as a recital piece and it is a good audition piece as well. It is written for the B-flat clarinet.

I’m going to talk through the piece in detail, giving some advice on how to approach some of the tricky spots.  If you don’t already own this piece, you will have difficulty following what I am talking about in the analysis. Make sure you have your music handy for full understanding! If you don’t yet own a copy, you can click on the link below and purchase it.

Cover tiny file
look inside
Rhapsody For Clarinet
Composed by Willson Osborne. For Bb clarinet (unaccompanied). 20th Century. Difficulty: medium to medium-difficult. Clarinet solo single. 4 pages. Duration 4.5 minutes. Edition Peters #EP6006. Published by Edition Peters (PE.P06006).


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Uniquely Clarinet: The Clarinet Family

The clarinet family is the largest of all instrument families, presently with 14 sizes of clarinets, and a few cousins that have strong similarities to the clarinet, but are distinctly different. Why so many sizes? Read on to find out!

I have had the pleasure of playing many of the clarinets in the clarinet family, each having its own unique set of challenges! Here, I will briefly cover each of the clarinets, including some more history.

Clarinet History

Although I covered some of the history in my last post, I would like to go into a bit more detail about the clarinet’s development. However, this is still a brief history, as there is much more detail that I will not be including. My point is to give you a little insight and an idea of how the clarinet came to be.
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