Document Type

Theses, Masters


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Performing arts studies

Publication Details

Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Master of Music degreeDublin Institute of TechnologyConservatory of Music and Drama.


The investigation of the emergence of solo bass clarinet music in Ireland evolved

out of my experience learning Irish contemporary bass clarinet music with Dr Paul

Roe. The intention was to discover why there had not been any solo bass clarinet

music in Ireland prior to 2000, as well as to determine which events influenced the

creation of the repertoire.

Data from interviews was vital to understanding how the bass clarinet repertoire in

Ireland has steadily grown since 2000 and a search through The Irish Times archives

provided information about bass clarinet activity in Ireland. A list of solo bass

clarinet repertoire by Irish composers was compiled using the Contemporary Music

Centre’s online database, composers’ websites, and Roe’s personal collection of

music. It was revealed that a significant amount of compositions were written for or

premiered by Roe. Events in his career affected his interest in bass clarinet

specialization, including his involvement with Concorde and collaborations with

Harry Sparnaay. The importance of combining solo and chamber music

performance is mirrored in the careers of Josef Horák, Sparnaay, and Henri Bok.

Five pieces were chosen from the repertoire to demonstrate the diversity and

explorative nature of many compositions by Irish composers. These pieces are

Continuum by Rob Canning, O Breath by Michael Holohan, Monster by Ed Bennett,

Composure by David Bremner, and Periastron by Gráinne Mulvey. Two more pieces,

Rattle by Amanda Feery and Stung by Frank Lyons, were examined in detail. All of

the compositions were analysed from a performer’s perspective. Composers were

influenced by Roe’s open-minded and creative approach to bass clarinet

performance, and the repertoire reflects this.

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