Clarinet Ensembles by Howard J. Buss

Compositions and Arrangements
Grading Scale:
I-II: Easy
III-IV: Intermediate
V-VI: Advanced

Clarinet ensembles Listed in alphabetical order, durations in parenthesis:

AQUARIUS (2013) for three clarinets (A bass clarinet part is included as an alternative to the third clarinet) by Howard J. Buss showcases both the agility and sonorous tone of instruments. The 2 movements, At the Glow of Dawn and Ocean Blue, explore a variety of sonic atmospheres and moods.
(7’) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



AVE VERUM CORPUS for four B-flat clarinets (or ensemble) by Mozart, transcribed by Howard J. Buss. This rendition of one of Mozart’s most sublime works makes an outstanding feature number for a recital as well as a musical offering in church.
(3’30”) Grade II-III.
Sound Sample: Excerpt.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press




Brom Bones for clarinet choir coverBROM BONES for clarinet choir (1 Eb, 3 Bb, 2 Eb Alto, 2 Bb Bass, and 1 Bb Contrabass) by Howard J. Buss was inspired by the character and exploits of Washington Irving’s dashing prankster in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The work is in 5 movements: Following the energetic and heroic Overture, in The Smoke Out tone clusters represent the buildup of smoke in Ichabod’s singing school. Chorale-like passages suggest the music of the singers in training. The movement ends in transition, as Brom Bones and his band of pranksters gallop off to their next adventure. The third movement, The Schoolhouse Caper, combines aggressive and topsy-turvy passages with humorous, plodding interjections. Ichabod’s Romance begins as an enchanting unaccompanied ballad, which is abruptly disturbed by a cacophony of raucous clarinets, suggesting the whining of Brom’s mocking dog. Reverent hymn-like sections serve as the backdrop to heartfelt solo passages, which are again disturbed by Brom’s annoying dog. The movement ends as it began, with the beautiful bass clarinet solo. The intense final movement, Night Encounter, depicts Ichabod’s frightening and fateful run-in with the Headless Horseman, suspected by some to be Brom Bones in disguise. (13’15”) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3,

Excerpt 4.mp3, Excerpt 5.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



CANZONA for four Bb clarinets (or ensemble) by Florentio Maschera (1540-1584) transcribed by Howard J. Buss is in a stirring imitative style. (2’30”) Grade III.
Sound Sample: Excerpt.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



DRY BONES, the well-known African American spiritual, for clarinet quartet arranged by Howard Buss, makes a wonderful concert feature as well as a spirited musical offering in church. Multiple players may be used on each part to expand the ensemble. The work opens with a two-part introduction that begins hymn-like, then breaks out in a jubilant jazzy section. This is followed by a more traditional rendering of the spiritual; however, as the music reaches its climax, the jazz "licks" from the introduction are brought back as counterpoint against the main melody of the spiritual. For a bit of humor, just as the work ends, there is a "tongue-in-cheek" plagal cadence. (2’30”) Grade IV. 
Score Sample: Excerpt.pdf

Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



Gemtones coverGEMTONES for two clarinets and bassoon (or bass clarinet) by Howard J. Buss was written for clarinetist Kathleen Mulcahy during the fall of 2019. A bass clarinet part is included as an alternative to the bassoon. The six short movements were inspired by the beauty of gemstones and exhibit a wide array of moods and sonic atmospheres ranging from the mystical, to the brilliant, vibrant passages: Ruby, Opal, Diamond in the Rough, Onyx, Garnet, and Sapphire. (12’10”) Grade V. - YouTube video

Score sample: Excerpts.pdf - Sound samples: Movement 1.mp3; Movement 2.mp3;

Movement 3.mp3; Movement 4.mp3; Movement 5.mp3; Movement 6.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



LEVI'S DREAM (2011) for clarinet quartet: 2 Bb sopranos, Eb alto (or Bb soprano), and Bb bass by Howard J. Buss. The title refers to an imagined dream of Levi, the namesake of the Israelite Tribe. The Levites were known for their involvement in priestly duties and music. Although the composition is loosely programmatic, much of the music has a distinctly Middle-eastern quality. The soulful nature of the slower sections is enhanced by the expressive, luscious ambience of the clarinets. The composition features 2 sections with original tunes in the style of Jewish folk songs. One is slow and contemplative, the other jubilant.This is an audience-friendly work appropriate for the concert hall or in a house of worship. (7'40") Grade V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



PRELUDE AND DANCE (2003) for solo Eb clarinet, solo Bb clarinet & clarinet quartet (3 Bb and a Bb bass) by Howard J. Buss. An Eb alto clarinet part is also included for part 3 of the quartet. This work features 2 solo players with clarinet ensemble accompaniment. The dramatic, and at times Arabesque, Prelude is followed by the spirited Dance, which is characterized by zesty Latin rhythms. Multiple payers may be used on each of the parts in the clarinet quartet accompaniment to create a larger ensemble. (8’15”) Grade V-VI.
Sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3, Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



PRELUDE AND INTRADA (2007) for Bb clarinet quartet (or ensemble) by Howard Buss. This quartet features lyrical writing, and spirited rhythmic drive. Multiple players may be used on each part to expand the ensemble. (5’15”) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



RICERCARE ON Cby Andrea Gabriel (1510-1586) arranged by Howard Buss for 4 clarinets (3 Bb and 1 Bb bass or clarinet choir. This late Renaissance work is written in a stirring imitative style. Particularly interesting are the meter changes involving metric modulations, a trait found in much of the dance music of the day. (2’30”)  Grade III.
Sound Samples: Excerpt.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press


Tribute to Stephen Foster for 5 clarinetsNew! TRIBUTE TO STEPHEN FOSTER “A Medley of Six Favorites” arranged for five clarinets by Howard J. Buss. (Scored for Eb, two Bb, and two Bb bass clarinets - an optional Bb part is included as a substitute for bass clarinet 1.) Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864) is often referred to as “the father of American music.” Many of his songs serve as a window into the spirit of America in his day. Others are exquisitely sentimental. Whether or not one approves of the lyrics of his minstrel songs, the enduring beauty and vitality of his melodies cannot be denied. In addition to the six Foster songs in this arrangement, Buss interjects two other well-known melodies: The “First Call” bugle call is woven into the tapestry of Camptown Races” and “The Girl I Left Behind Me” serves as a partner song to “Ring, Ring, the Banjo.”
I. “Old Black Joe”  (2’)
II. “Camptown Races” (1’40”)
III. “Beautiful Dreamer”  (2’15”)
IV. “Old Folks at Home” also known as “Swanee River” (2’12”)
V. “Ring, Ring the Banjo” – “Oh, Susannah!”  (2’41”)
The movements may be played individually or in smaller groupings. The total duration is about 11’ without pauses between the movements. Grade V.
Score sample: Excerpts.pdf

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

Excerpt 4.mp3; Excerpt 5.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, works are listed in alphabetical order within each category.

Solo clarinet - unaccompanied

Clarinet with one other instrument or voice (includes clarinet  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 & sextets (includes standard wind quintets)

Clarinet and band (or wind ensemble)


Howard J. Buss, Composer

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