Free Christmas clarinet sheet music

Free Christmas clarinet sheet music scores

Here you will find my arrangements for Bb clarinet of some of the most popular Christmas carols and songs. Included in all files on this page is the melody written with traditional scores and transposed chords for C-instruments.

Free clarinet sheet music for Christmas (PDF)

Where Do Clarinets Come From?

By Joey Robichaux

The clarinet can trace its roots back to the Stone Age -- when denizens crafted flutes out of hollowed bone! Perhaps the scales were not perfect -- but these original flutes were not orchestral instruments to be played together with other musicians. These flutes were used by individuals playing solo -- but perhaps being enjoyed by groups. As such, tuning didn't need to be standard or perfect.

The woodwind family of instruments evolved from the basic bone flutes. Scales and tuning became standardized as musicians began playing together; reeds were introduced as a method of creating the initial sound. Clarinets are a little special, though. They did not evolve naturally, but were instead a direct development from an existing instrument -- the chalumeau.

The chalumeau was essentially a shepherd instrument -- a flute with a reed -- meant to be played solo. No surviving samples exist -- but it most likely looked like a recorder with a reed. Since it was a solo instrument (meaning it wasn't necessarily in tune with other orchestral instruments), composers tended to ignore it.

In early 1700, though, instrument makers began to "improve" the chalumeau -- they standardized tuning and hole placement, they improved the functionality of "overblowing" (to achieve different registers) while keeping hole placement standard. The increased range of the revised instrument brings us up almost all the way to the birth of the clarinet. The problem with the increased range is that intonation suffered. Hole placement that worked for the lower register did not function well for the upper register. Since you can't move the holes, this created a problem.

Instrument maker C.H. Denner who lived in Nuremberg, Germany approached this problem by creating two extra holes. This brought the intonation of both registers close together (still not perfect, but not too far off). Players were able to correct the remaining intonation issues by adjusting their embouchure. And this revised instrument was the first clarinet!

These were still simple instruments -- they still looked much like a recorder. Players could play loud and the instrument was capable of swift note sequences that were difficult to play on a trumpet. Because of this, composers specified this instrument to replace trumpets that participated in high registered -- these trumpets were called "clarini". So -- the replacement instrument became known as "clarinets"! This new instrument, the clarinet, drew much interest from composers of the day who rushed to rewrite existing pieces or compose entirely new pieces specifying the clarinet.

Instrument makers continued to improve upon the clarinet design -- for instance, Theobald Boehm (known as a flute maker) defined the mathematics to calculate perfect tone hole placement; he also invented the ring key. Ring keys make it possible to have holes larger than a finger can cover. These techniques became known as the "Boehm" clarinet model. Other models exist -- for instance the "Oehler" model, the "Muller" model, and the "Albert" model -- but the clarinet as we know it today was essentially defined.

Joey Robichaux operates Free Sheet Music at http://www.freesheetmusic.net, one of the oldest free sheet music resources on the Internet.