Clarinet Notes

Odds and ends of clarinet tech and training

Breathing and Phrasing (Klose)


Guidance on phrasing from Klose Conservatory Method (1879 edition)

Respiration consists of two actions: namely, aspiration, which is the inhaling or introduction of air into the chest, and expiration, the expulsion of the air from the chest. In these two movements the lungs are like bellows. Considered in relation to the art of playing the Clarinet, respiration consists in accomplishing the two acts of aspiration and expiration without taking the mouthpiece out of the mouth.

Demi-respiration consists in scarcely half-opening the two corners of the mouth, in order to renew the power of continuing the execution.


  • Never respire at the end of a bar, unless it is the termination of the phrase.
  • To respire completely, you must await a rest, a finish of a phrase, or a cadence.
  • Demi-respiration is effected most frequently upon detached notes, or after having taken the first note of a bar.
demi-respiration on detached notes (bad and good)
  • It is a very great fault to respire at each rest, particularly in broken time.
  • When you commence playing, you must not hasten to take breath; it must be done slowly and imperceptibly, because such apparent efforts are as fatiguing for the player as they are disagreeable to those who listen.
  • You can respire on the beat of the bar, when the sense of the phrase terminates with the bar.
respiring on the beat of the bar
  • Demi-respiration, considered as a pleasing effect, in taking a little slower certain notes to which one wishes to give a par- ticular shade or expression.
demi-respiration for phrasing

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