Howard J. Buss: Clarinet in Chamber Music, Quintets and Sextets

Compositions and Arrangements
Grading Scale:
I-II: Easy
III-IV: Intermediate
V-VI: Advanced
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Clarinet in chamber music - quintets and sextets
Listed in alphabetical order, durations in parenthesis.

COEXISTENCE (1979) for clarinet and 4 percussion. Dramatic tension permeates this work as the clarinet is pitted against the potentially explosive, overpowering might of the percussion ensemble.Timbral modulations figure prominently throughout the work. Percussion 1: Xylophone, chimes (tubular bells), orchestra bells, tom toms, sizzle cymbal, tam-tam, triangle and wind chimes; Percussion 2: Vibes, celesta (muted orchestra bells may be substituted), triangle, tambourine, temple blocks, maracas, and snare drum; Percussion 3: suspended cymbals, triangle, cow bell, snare drum, bass drum, and tam tam; Percussion 4: Marimba, timpani, cow bell, large tam-tam (may be shared with players 1 and 3), ratchet, whip, hi-hat, and wind chimes.“An exquisite concert piece that will keep listeners on the edges of their seats!“- The Clarinet. This ”- Percussive Notes (9’) Grade  V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3 - Video on YouTube

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

ECLIPSE for flute, oboe, clarinet, trumpet, horn, trombone, and three percussion is an early work, composed during 1974. There is a feeling of suspense throughout during this musical representation of a solar eclipse.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3  - Video on YouTube               

Order from  Subito Music

FIVE STARS (2004) for wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon). Each of the five movements features a different member of the ensemble: Into the Maelstrom features the flute, A Distant Glow (horn), Orbits (oboe), The Message from the Cosmic Sea (bassoon), and Dance of the Stars (clarinet). This music is sophisticated, yet audience-friendly. It is well suited for school outreach concerts. (17’10") Grade V.
Sound Excerpts: Mov.#1.mp3; Mov.#2.mp3; Mov.#3.mp3; Mov.#4.mp3; Mov.#5.mp3.

Videos on YouTube: I. Into the Maelstrom, II. A Distant Glow, III. Orbits,

IV.The Message from the Cosmic Sea, V. Dance of the Stars

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

ISLAND OF ENCHANTMENT  “5 Vignettes from Puerto Rico” for flute, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, and piano was written during the summer of 2022 for clarinetist Dr. Kathleen Jones and the 40th Anniversary of Camerata Caribe of San Juan, Puerto Rico. An English horn may be used as a substitute for the French horn. Camerata Caribe premiered the work on February 5, 2023 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The five movements are: Sunrise Paints the Land, To the Shore “Arecibo”, Glowing Water “La Parguera”, The Rain Forest “El Yunque”, and Mongoosian Intrigues.
(12') Grade V-VI.
Score sample: Excerpts.pdf - Video on YouTube

Sound samples: Movement_1.mp3; Movement_2.mp3;

Movement_3.mp3; Movement_4.mp3; Movement_5.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

MILLENNIUM VISIONS for clarinet & string quartet is in 3 movements: First Dawn, Meditation, and Quest. It was composed in late 1999 when most of the world was looking forward with anticipation to the turn of the Century, and in many minds, the Millennium. The conflict between man’s desire to “progress” in our technological age and his desire to connect to his spiritual past is symbolically represented by an array of musical styles and compositional procedures. The modern world is suggested by passages influenced by popular music styles and 12-tone technique. The longing for spirituality is manifested in the poignant lyricism of the work and its reliance on classical formal structures. Commissioned by ClarinetFest 2000, premiered by Tom Martin (Boston Symphony). (20’) Grade V. - Video on YouTube

Sound Samples: Sound Sample 1.mp3; Sound Sample 2.mp3; Sound Sample 3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

Ocean MoodsOCEAN MOODS “Three Sonic Portraits” (2014) for flute, clarinet, violin, viola & celloranges from lyric tenderness to powerful and sometimes dazzling technical displays. The three movements, Vistas, From the Depths, and Blustery, explore a wide range of sonic atmospheres and moods. (13’30”) Grade VI. 
Sound samples: Movement 1.mp3; Movement 2.mp3: Movement 3.mp3 - Video

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

Skylines for woodwind sextet coverSKYLINES, version for woodwind sextet was originally composed for trumpet and piano during the Fall of 2002. This version for woodwind sextet was commissioned in 2019 by Victoria Ward Ltd. in memory of clarinetist David Marshall. It is scored for flute, oboe, English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet and bassoon (an additional bassoon part is provided as a substitutute for the bass clarinet, part 5.) This is a picturesque musical urban portrait in 2 movements: No specific city is depicted; rather, the composer captures, in a broad manner, the essence of the big city spectacle.  The lyrical and majestic first movement, Panorama, suggests the expansive grandeur of cityscape. The second, Amid the Spires, captures the dynamic energy of life on the busy streets. (10’30”) Grade V.
Sound samples: 1.mp3, 2.mp3; 3.mp3; 4.mp3  - Score sample: Excerpt.pdf

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

Spectrum_Buss cover artSPECTRUM (2015) for bass clarinet and percussion quartet was written for clarinetist Dr. Keith Koons and the University of Central Florida Percussion Ensemble. The structure of this one-movement work suggests a journey through a sequence of colorful sonic landscapes. It is a showcase for the bass clarinet as well as the percussion ensemble. The music uses the entire practical range of the bass clarinet, exploring its impressive array of expressive capabilities. From the haunting beauty its low register to the agile brilliance of its upper range, this work reveals the great diversity of moods that can be created with the instrument as well the salient technical characteristics that distinguish it from the other woodwinds. The percussion writing, even when used as an accompaniment for the soloist, employs a wide array of timbres and textures. An undercurrent of energy and suspense is added to the musical tapestry as a result of the inherent tension between the soloist and the percussion battery.
(13’50”) Grade V.
Sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3, Excerpt 2.mp3, Excerpt 3.mp3;

Excerpt 4.mp3; Excerpt 5.mp3

Video on YouTube

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

Three Contemplations coverTHREE CONTEMPLATIONS for wind quintet was composed during 2022 for the University of Central Florida Faculty Wind Quintet. It was premiered by this ensemble on September 21, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. Its three movments are In the Glow of Love, Daydreams, and Amid the Storm. (12'30") Grade V-VI. Score sample: Excerpts.pdf

Sound samples: Movement 1.mp3; Movement 2.mp3; Movement 3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

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Clarinet/Bass Clarinet Sheet Music

Index of Clarinet Music: (Click on an instrumentation link.)

Solo clarinet - unaccompanied

Clarinet with one other instrument or voice (includes clarinet duos, clarinet and piano, clarinet and electronic recording, basset horn and piano, etc.)

Clarinet ensembles (includes clarinet trios, quartets, choirs)

Clarinet or bass clarinet solo with percussion ensemble

Clarinet in chamber music - trios

Clarinet in chamber music - quartets (includes standard woodwind quartets)

Clarinet in chamber music - quintets and sextets (includes standard wind quintets)

Clarinet and band (or wind ensemble)

Howard J. Buss, Composer       

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Clarinet Music, Online Graded Catalog of Sheet Music.
Product description: Clarinet & Bass Clarinet: Solos, Duos, Choirs, and Chamber Music