This site is home to Alea Publishing & Recording, specializing in music for the bass clarinet.
We offer a growing catalog of creative, artistic transcriptions and new works for bass clarinet solo & ensemble.
Scarborough Fair has always been a closely kept and treasured melody to me. Having grown up learning piano with Carol Barratt’s well known ‘Chester’ piano books, Scarborough Fair was one piece I remember studying at a young age, and having watched the detective TV series, Rosemary and Thyme which utilises the same melody beautifully arranged by Christopher Gunning, featuring acoustic guitar, bass clarinet, and recorder. It is, naturally a traditional tune that I have never forgotten.
This arrangement for four bass clarinets started life as an arrangement thought for clarinet quartet (3 Bb’s and bass clarinet). However, having been curious to create a bass clarinet quartet for some time, not only because the repertoire list for bass clarinet still very small, but bass clarinet ensemble music is even harder to come by. Given that the bass clarinet has not only an incredible range of around 4 octaves, but each of the registers has a very different sound quality and sonority to the rest. The differences between these colours blend very well together. This arrangement features writing that exposes these different timbres, from the low, earthy rootedness of the opening and running quaver motifs, to the tune itself which ‘sings’ in the second and third registers.
There are several influences that have shaped this arrangement, from medieval music, with its modal open fifths that remain a feature throughout much of the music. There are also elements of folk music, such as stylistic grace notes and folk like melody. A nod to more jazz related articulation, rhythm and harmony at subtle moments throughout such as bars 84 and 85 are to be enjoyed. Lastly, there is a further nod to both jazz and impressionist music in the use of the whole tone scale at figure H. It is important to remember to have fun with this arrangement, each part and player is a soloist in their own right, and the tune moves around from player to player, so really ensure that if you have the melody or lead line that you really enjoy it!
Score: 8 pages, spiral bound. Parts: 3 pages each, booklet. Extended-range instruments NOT required.
Purchasing this item will give you access to download the music as a PDF.
If you would prefer to purchase a hard copy, please click here.
About the Arranger
Born in Winchester, England, George Shrapnell studied his undergraduate degree at Goldsmiths College, University of London where he graduated with First Class Honours. He specialised in performance, composition, jazz arranging, and orchestration under Paul Bartholomew, and Mick Foster. As a saxophonist, he is now studying for his MMus and MPerf under John Harle, Mick Foster, Alastair Penman, Nick Moss, and Scott Stroman, at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he was recently awarded the concert recital diploma for excellence in his final recital. Active in the fields of jazz, theatre, classical, and contemporary music - George enjoys and takes pride in being as versatile as possible as a musician in the 21st Century, facilitated by a portfolio career consisting of performing, composing, arranging, and teaching.
Based in New Cross in SE London, he is a freelance Saxophone and woodwinds player, and plays all the saxophones, clarinets, and flutes. This has lead to work in big bands, contemporary music, orchestras, and musical theatre, all of which he regularly plays for as part of his freelance work in and around London. He is also a session musician, recording woodwinds for engagements such as adverts, function bands, EP's (his own and colleagues'), and demos for original compositions. George has felt very privileged to have worked/performed with the likes of Cat Stevens, Pete Long, Tim Garland, Mark Anthony Turnage, Marin Alsop, and Labi Siffre. All of whom have made a positive impact on shaping his development as a musician.
As a composer and arranger, George writes from the heart and does not just write music for the sake of it. Melody, rhythm, and harmony all take a high priority when composing, he is particularly influenced by jazz, folk, minimalism, as well as sacred and secular choral music, and each of these influences can be found in much his work. He writes for a wide plethora of instrumentations and ensembles, and has a passion for expanding the repertoire of combinations of instruments that are seldom written for. He also writes for saxophone quartet, flute choir, clarinet quartet, works for multiple keyboards, percussion ensemble, big band, choral music, and smaller duo ensembles. Enjoying a diverse spectrum of music, George does not confine himself to one style of music either when performing or composing. He also arranges for varying ensembles and clients however and whatever is required in the brief.
Also a passionate teacher, George has held a number of peripatetic teaching posts and private pupils across South East London, covering all manner of music making and learning, such as beginner clarinet, flute, saxophone, and piano, initial music theory, and early years musicianship.
Duo Alea began performing music for bass clarinet and piano in 1996. As both performers searching for new repertoire and teachers working with students eager to develop as performers, it quickly became clear that there was a need for more repertoire featuring the bass clarinet. Filling this need became the mission of Alea Publishing & Recording.
Since our first publication in 1997, the Bach Suites, the Alea catalog now includes over 250 titles. As performing musicians ourselves, we pride ourselves on the accuracy and quality of our sheet music, as well as our ability to ship directly to customers around the world.
We are proud of the diversity of our catalog in terms of the inclusion of works by composers and arrangers from around the world. We are interested in continuing to expand this diversity, representing musical ideas from around the world.
In June 2020, we announced the creation of the Dolphy Prize for new works for bass clarinet by Black composers.
Would you like to be informed about additions to our catalog and other news? Join our e-mail list!