Handel's Clarionet

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X:1 % T:Handel's Clarinet M:C L:1/8 R:Air B:Thompson - The Compleat Tutor for the Violin (London, 1770, p. 21) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D V:1 a2 f/g/a/b/ {f}Te2 dA|(3ded (3efe Tf3 g/a/|bbba/g/ aaag/f/| gggf/e/ fffe|d/e/f/g/ ag/f/ bzgz|azAz d4:| |:a2|fAdf e/d/e/f/ ea|fAdf e3a|T(a8|a6)a2|(ba)(ag) (gf)(fg)| (ag)(gf) (fe) Te2|d/e/f/g/ ag/f/ bzgz|azAz d4:| V:2 f2 d/e/f/g/ {d}Tc2 dD|(3FGF (3ABA Td3 e/f/|gggf/e/ fffe/d/| eeed/c/|dddA|d/c/d/e/ fe/d/ gzez|fzAz F4:| |:a2|T(a8|a6)a2|fAdf e/d/e/f/ ea|fAdf Te4|(gf)(fe) (ed)(de)| (ag)(gf) (fe) Te2|d/e/f/g/ ag/f/ bzgz|azAz d4:|

HANDEL'S CLARIONET. English, Air (whole time). C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The tune was entered into a great many American musicians' manuscript collections of the late 18th/early 19th century, including Wilkes Allen (1790), James Hosmer (East Hartford, CT., 1798), Seth Johnson (Woburn, MA., c. 1807), George Otis (Worcester, MA., 1793), and John Niles (1803), to mention a few. "Handel's Clarinet" also appears in the 1804 music copybook of Isle of Man musician John Moore. It was published in Samuel Holyoke's Instrumental Assistant vol. 1 (1800, Exeter, N.H.). However, a much earlier published appearance of the the melody can be found in The Compleat Tutor for the Violin by Geminiani, issued by Charles and Samuel Thompson in London (1770, p. 21 -- there were many versions of Geminiani's text, issued by various publishers in the 18th century). Still earlier the tune (for two instrumental voices) was entered into a Gloucester manuscript dated 1736 bearing names of John Thurston and Mary Thurston, although it was called "Forrest Harmony" [1] in the copybook (there were other tunes in the ms. also called "Forrest Harmony").

Despite being named in the title, there is no evidence that George Frideric Handel [2] (1685-1759) composed this melody. Handel is known to have written only one piece for the clarinet, "Sonata for Two Clarinets and Horn" also called "ouverture for 'Clarinet 1', 'Clarinet 2' and 'Corno da caccia'. It is thought the piece was composed for a traveling Hungarian horn-player obscurely known only as 'Mr. Charles' who was active in London from 1734. His concerts also featured the clarinet and 'shalamo' (chalumeau).

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Thomas Hastings (A New Collection of Flute Melodies), Utica, NY, 1822; p. 11. Thompson (The Compleat Tutor for the Violin), London, 1770; p. 21.

Recorded sources: -

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