The following are resources from a presentation as part of the 2023 International Trumpet Guild Conference Research Room. For more background information, read the presentation abstract.
In the introduction to his Characteristic Studies, Clarke alludes to his source of inspiration for his etudes:
…I made a thorough study of violin methods and exercises, and adapting much of the material I found therein, for the needs of Cornet players. As a practical result the Twenty-four Characteristic Studies contained in this book, while of difficult grade, have been adapted from existing violin studies.
In fact, Clarke’s inspiration was Heinrich Ernst Kayser’s book of 36 Studies for violin published in 1848. All but two of Clarke’s etudes (16 and 24) can be traced back to an etude by Kayser.
Clarke/Kayser Comparison Chart
|Clarke Etude||Key||Marking||Kayser Etude||Key||Marking|
|1||C Major||Allegro moderato||4||C Major||Allegro|
|2||a minor||Allegro||28||a minor||Allegro assai|
|3||D-flat Major||Allegro risoluto||11||E-flat Major||Allegro energico|
|4||b-flat minor||Allegro misterioso||25||d minor||Allegro|
|5||D Major||Moderato energico||8||D Major||Commodo|
|6||b minor||Moderato marcato||19||b minor||Allegro|
|7||E-flat Major||Allegro moderato||32||E-flat Major||Allegro moderato|
|8||c minor||Allegro agitato||6||c minor||Allegro molto|
|9||E Major||Allegretto guisto||3||F Major||Allegretto|
|10||c-sharp minor||Allegro moderato||30||d minor||Allegro moderato|
|11||F Major||Allegretto||13||G Major||Allegretto|
|12||d minor||Allegro moderato||15||B-flat major||Allegro moderato|
|13||F-sharp Major||Vivace||22||E Major||Allegro assai|
|14||e-flat minor||Allegretto con moto||18||G Major||Allegretto|
|15||G Major||Allegro ma non troppo||12||G Major||Allegro, ma non tanto|
|16||e minor||Tempo di Bolero||Appears to be original to Clarke|
|17||A-flat Major||Moderato||31||A-flat Major||Allegro molto agitato|
|18||f minor||Moderato||23||f minor||Allegretto|
|19||A Major||Allegro vivace||27||A Major||Allegro vivace|
|20||f-sharp minor||Furioso||21||E-flat Major||Allegro|
|21||B-flat Major||Moderato||10||C Major||Allegro, ma non tanto|
|22||g minor||Allegretto||35||b minor||Allegro con fuoco|
|23||B Major||Moderato||29||C Major||Moderato|
|24||g-sharp minor||Andante cantabile||Appears to be original to Clarke|
Examples for Comparison
Continuing in the introduction to the Characteristic Studies, Clarke emphasizes several goals of the studies including:
…absolute control of technic, articulation, slurring and endurance….
…[the studies] will help the student play with comfort and ease….
Cornet players should…try to demonstrate their own musical and artistic individuality.
Ex. 1: “articulation”
Ex. 2: “slurring”
Ex. 3: “absolute control of technic”
Ex. 4: “comfort and ease”
Ex. 5: “musical and artistic individuality”
Sources and Resources
Clarke, Herbert L. How I Became a Cornetist. St. Louis: Joseph Huber, 1934.
Da Silva, Ulisses Carvalho. “Original and Transcribed Etude Books for Viola: A Reference Guide for Teachers and Students.” Ph.D. diss., University of Georgia, 2010.
Gillotti, Nicole. “Exploring Parallels between Trumpet and Violin Pedagogy: Relating Trumpet Adaptations of Otakar Ševčík’s Op. 8 to the Teachings of Vincent Cichowicz.” DMA diss., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2020.
Madeja, James Thomas. “The Herbert L. Clarke Method of Cornet Playing” International Trumpet Guild Journal 14, no. 3 (February 1990): 4–18.
———. “The Life and Work of Herbert L. Clarke (1867-1945).” Ed.D. diss., University of Illinois, 1988.
Schwartz, Terry. Characteristic Studies by Herbert L. Clarke. N.P., 2010, compact disc.
Wilt, Jim. Clarke (or Clark) Characteristic Etudes 1, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 21.
Cruz, Claudio. Kayser: 36 Violin Studies, Op. 20. Azul Music, 2020.
Kang, Bochan. Kayser Violin 36 Etudes.
Clarke, Herbert L. Characteristic Studies. New York: Carl Fischer, 1915.
Kayser, Heinrich Ernst. Elementary and Progressive Studies for the Violin, Op. 20. New York: Schirmer, 1915.
Full side by side compilation of Clarke’s studies with corresponding studies by Kayser: