Originally published in The Clarinet 45/4 (September 2018). Printed copies of The Clarinet are available for ICA members.
Book Reviews – September 2018
Kornel Wolak. Articulation Types for Clarinet. Music Mind Inc., 2017. 54 pp. PDF e-book $14.99, hard copy $19.99
Kornel Wolak’s book Articulation Types for Clarinet is an extension of his work for Music Mind Inc. and his graduate research at the University of Toronto. This book, presented similarly to an owner’s manual for a car, is a 54-page text familiarizing the reader with the myriad permutations of articulations on the clarinet. It is written as a quick-hit reference for clarinet instructors and performers and briefly describes the physical processes by which different types of articulations are produced. For each type of articulation, a diagram of the inner workings of the mouth and tongue shows the exact areas of the body necessary to execute the specific articulation. Wolak includes descriptions of other writings and/or exercises to practice these articulations.
Wolak, assistant professor at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, presented a lecture of this material at the 2017 ClarinetFest® in Orlando, and it was one of the most talked-about sessions at the conference. His book sold out after the presentation, and for good reason. The explanations are succinct without sacrificing depth of understanding. The pictures highlighting each muscle group are well presented and clear, and the bibliography of materials for additional study compliments his explanations nicely. I found this part of the book particularly helpful. It directs the student to additional exercises and methods that will help refine the technique in question. Articulation Types for Clarinet is an excellent primer and first step in the understanding and application of the various available articulations. It was an enjoyable read, and I recommend it to anyone looking to present articulation concepts to students in a fresh and novel way.
– Osiris Molina