Dismiss Notice
I hate the colors. What do I do?

At the far bottom of the page, on the left, is a menu or link that says, "Forum Default." Click on that and choose a different Style.

9 to 5 pit orchestra

Discussion in 'Pit Orchestra Stories' started by snakeman5001, May 29, 2013.

  1. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dubuque, Iowa, USA
    It's been awhile since I posted something on here, but I've recently joined the pit orchestra for my local theatre's upcoming production of 9 to 5. I'll be playing Reed 2, which is tenor and bari sax and clarinet. Looking on the MTI website I see that Reed 2 also has flute and bass clarinet in there. I'll probably transpose the flute parts to clarinet and play the bass clarinet parts also on clarinet. So here's what I'm asking: for those who've played for this show, what's the music like? Is it easy? Is it challenging? I know that 9 to 5 is a rock musical so it can't be that hard.

    I'll also be updating on what goes on as well. Otherwise, I'm really excited to do this. That is all!
     
    Tags:
  2. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dubuque, Iowa, USA
    After sight reading and looking through the Reed 2 book I received, I can conclude that it's very bari/tenor/clarinet heavy. Bari and tenor sax are used for the more upbeat numbers and there are some solos. Clarinet is used for the slower songs but is used in some upbeat songs like "Get Out and Stay Out" and "Shine Like the Sun". There is only a little bit of bass clarinet and flute in this book. But I'll just play those parts on my clarinet. On an anecdote, the flute part in the book has only eight bars.
     
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    858
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Stratford Ontario
    Can't you borrow a bass clarinet for the show? Substituting Bb clarinet for bass doesn't really cut it; you'd be better off playing the part on baritone sax instead.
     
  4. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,749
    Likes Received:
    466
    As both a bari sax and bass clarinet player, I second this comment. Of course, Merlin's also got about 50 instruments he lugs to a show ....
     
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    858
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Stratford Ontario
    I only lug the ones they're paying me to play...

    I'm currently doing a 3 week run of The Sound of Music, and it's just flute/clarinet. Every time I leave the house I feel like I've forgotten something, because it doesn't seem like enough stuff.
     
  6. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Beulah FL, a suburb of Pensacola
    Playing a show bass clarinet part on a clarinet is a big mistake. The reason that the bass is specified is for the tone color, not the range.

    Of course, there was the time that I played a show of West Side Story where the bass sax part was being played (poorly at that) on the soprano clarinet...

    My shining moment on flute was with 1776 - a whole sixteen bars of tap notes for bell tones. I bought a flute and learned enough to cover it. My flute playing hasn't advanced much since...
     
  7. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dubuque, Iowa, USA
    for those wondering, the musical director assigned me on Reed 2 and wants me to play clarinet, tenor sax, and bari sax. there is also flute and bass clarinet parts in the book, but it's so little. Unlike Wizard of Oz last summer where it had a lot of bass clarinet, this one barely has bass clarinet (about 55 bars). i mean it does, but not enough. also, the bass clarinet in the book is the version that goes to low C apparently. i don't own that kind of bass clarinet nor does my school. i am also playing the flute part on clarinet. there are about eight bars of flute. i do thank you all for the advice though. it's just that with those few sections with the flute and bass clarinet and space concerns and how heavy it is on the clarinet and tenor/bari, it's more fitting to cover the smaller parts right now. but i do thank you guys for the advice and the words of wisdom. i'll take that into account next time a woodwind part calls for bass clarinet
     
  8. Carl H.

    Carl H. Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,059
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Willmar, MN
    I don't mean to be offensive, but if you are playing a BASS part up an octave or two, the music would probably be better served by not playing it or giving it to another player on a bass instrument. Bass lines are not interior voices and taking them to a range not intended is, at the least, a lousy sounding thing.

    I do not mean bass clarinet, I mean a BASS line. I once had the misfortune to be in a pit where the music director and the other reed player thought alto sax was good enough to cover bari sax sections. It wasn't and it sounded ridiculous. A low C bass clarinet part will not work on a Bb clarinet. See if you can swing it on bari - you have a low A bari, don't you?
     
  9. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dubuque, Iowa, USA
    I do have a low A bari. It's just that I didn't know that playing clarinet on a bass clarinet would cause so much uproar.
     
  10. Carl H.

    Carl H. Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,059
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Willmar, MN
    Play the bass part of Peter Gunn on a xylophone. Same deal. A bass marimba sounds cool playing the bass line, a xylo is ridiculous.

    I did a tour with an orchestra on 3rd clarinet/bass a million years ago. The only bass clarinet was about 16 bars worth and it was all upper treble clef stuff. I consulted with the conductor and we both agreed carrying a bass clarinet for so little was ridiculous (inner voice of a fat section - not a solo bass part) when it fell within the range of the soprano clarinet. Since there was no octave displacement it worked fine on the road to not bring the bass. I don't recall if I ever used the bass for that particular part. If it had been outside the soprano range you can bet I would have dragged the bass along!
     
  11. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dubuque, Iowa, USA
    I'd like to say that I didn't know that covering a bass clarinet part on the clarinet was bad. I'll try to get a bass clarinet next time I play in a pit and the part calls for bass clarinet. I know you guys have been telling me that I should use the bari or just get a bass clarinet and that's fine. But right now, 9 to 5 is coming too close to opening night and I am not going to change anything right now due to how close the show's opening and space concernss. But I will take your advice and words of wisdom.
     
  12. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Beulah FL, a suburb of Pensacola
    Might this have been Once Upon A Mattress? There was just such a part in the "The Spanish Panic" number that didn't benefit from the bass's tone color (with fast passages all the way up to high E), and sounded just fine when played on a soprano (reading it down an octave), without all of the third register jump problem (octave jumps from the clarinet register to the altissimo, all in high speed eighth notes).

    Aside from being as boring of a show as i have ever played, that was a reason to dislike the thing. No half naked chorus line, either...
     
  13. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dubuque, Iowa, USA
    Well, tonight is our invitational dress rehearsal. Then tomorrow is opening night. I'm pretty excited about this as I usually am. After that, we then run until July 27th.
     
  14. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dubuque, Iowa, USA
    Today starts our last week of shows for 9 to 5. And for this particular show, I've actually learned a lot; most of it is style of playing and getting the right instruments.

    1) Playing woodwinds for a classical show and a contemporary show are on opposite ends of the spectrum. When I played Wizard of Oz last summer (clar/bs clar/bari), the woodwinds often blended in with each other. There were some solos I had with the clarinet but other than that I blended in with the other players. The bari sax part often stayed on the lower range and only once did it hit the altissimo range (in The Cyclone underscoring). 9 to 5, on the other hand (clar/t sax/bari), kind of represents the backup band for a 70's song. I had a ton of solos, mostly in the tenor sax. The clarinet part was used in ballads but was used in some upbeat songs. The bari sax had a lot of notes in the altissimo range; it was also the only instrument I used to play the music for the first ten minutes of the show.

    2) Sometimes covering a bass clarinet part on a soprano clarinet is not right. This created quite a fuss on this thread, but my conductor specifically told me to use the instruments he wanted me to play on. And besides, there's not much bass clarinet in the book either and due to limited space I couldn't use it. But from the people who replied on this thread I've learned that sometimes a bass clarinet is put into the score because of its tonal color. I never knew that in all seriousness. But next time when I get a woodwind book that calls for bass clarinet, I'll do my best to acquire one.

    Well, I guess that's it. This was a great show. Catchy music, great dialogue, all that jazz. It was a great thing to cap off my summer before I head out to college. I've learned a lot about music styles and apparent common sense. Can't wait to be in the pit for my next musical (or maybe even be musical director/pit conductor)!
     
Our staff's websites:


Loading...