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What Child Is This Clarinet Sheet Music What Child Is This Clarinet Sheet Music

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What Child Is This Clarinet Sheet Music

Written by: Petronilla Wildman

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Welcome to the world of sheet music! If you’re a clarinet player or a music enthusiast, you’re in for a treat. In this article, we’ll explore the enchanting piece of music called “What Child Is This” and discuss where you can find clarinet sheet music for this popular holiday song.

Sheet music is essentially the written notation of a musical composition, allowing musicians to interpret and perform a piece accurately. It serves as a guide, providing notes, rhythms, and other important musical details. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced clarinet player, sheet music is an invaluable resource for learning and playing various songs.

“What Child Is This” is a beautiful Christmas carol that has stood the test of time. The melody is based on the 16th-century English folk song, “Greensleeves.” The lyrics, written by William Chatterton Dix in the 19th century, depict the nativity scene and the awe-inspiring moment of the birth of Jesus.

Playing this classic holiday tune on the clarinet can create a magical and nostalgic atmosphere, evoking feelings of warmth and joy. So, let’s dive into the world of clarinet sheet music and explore how you can find and play “What Child Is This” on your instrument.


About the Clarinet

The clarinet is a versatile woodwind instrument that is widely used in various genres of music, including classical, jazz, and contemporary. It is known for its unique and expressive sound which can evoke a wide range of emotions.

The clarinet consists of a cylindrical body with a flared bell at one end and a mouthpiece with a single reed at the other. The player produces sound by blowing air into the mouthpiece, causing the reed to vibrate. The vibrations are amplified within the cylindrical body, producing the distinct clarinet sound.

With its rich and warm tone, the clarinet is often considered the closest instrument to the human voice. It has a wide range, capable of playing both high and low notes with ease. The clarinet is known for its ability to blend seamlessly with other instruments in an ensemble or take the center stage with its melodic lines.

Clarinet players use a combination of fingerings and embouchure techniques to control pitch and produce different tones. The instrument has a complex key system that allows for precise and rapid finger movements, enabling players to navigate through intricate musical passages.

As a clarinetist, it’s important to develop a solid technique and understanding of music theory. This will enable you to effectively interpret and bring out the nuances of the sheet music, capturing the essence of the composition.

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced player, the clarinet offers endless opportunities for musical exploration and expression. Now that we have an understanding of the clarinet, let’s move on to exploring the sheet music for “What Child Is This” and how you can find it for your instrument.


Overview of “What Child Is This”

“What Child Is This” is a beloved Christmas carol that is often heard during the holiday season. The melody is derived from the traditional English folk song “Greensleeves,” which dates back to the 16th century. The lyrics were penned by William Chatterton Dix in the 19th century, and they beautifully capture the storyline of the nativity scene and the birth of Jesus.

The song’s melody has a melancholic and introspective quality, setting it apart from other upbeat and joyful holiday tunes. This evocative and haunting melody, combined with the poignant lyrics, creates a captivating and reverent atmosphere.

“What Child Is This” is typically performed in a 3/4 time signature, giving it a waltz-like feel. The piece is usually played at a moderate tempo, allowing for the seamless flow of the melody and the emotional impact of the lyrics.

The clarinet, with its warm and expressive tone, is a perfect instrument for bringing out the beauty and emotion of this piece. The clarinet can capture the delicate nuances of the melody and lend a refined and soulful quality to the performance.

As a clarinetist, it’s important to pay attention to the dynamics and phrasing in the sheet music. “What Child Is This” calls for subtle changes in volume and expression, allowing the music to breathe and convey the emotions portrayed in the lyrics. It’s also essential to observe the articulations, such as staccato or legato markings, to bring out the desired musical effect.

Now that we have an overview of “What Child Is This,” let’s explore how you can find the sheet music for clarinet and embark on the journey of learning and playing this beautiful holiday carol.


Finding Clarinet Sheet Music

When it comes to finding clarinet sheet music for “What Child Is This” or any other piece, there are several avenues you can explore. Let’s take a look at some of the options available:

  1. Music Stores: Local music stores or instrument shops often carry a variety of sheet music for different instruments, including the clarinet. Visit your nearest music store and browse through their selection. They may have a dedicated section for holiday sheet music where you can find “What Child Is This” specifically.
  2. Online Retailers: Online retailers like Amazon, Sheet Music Plus, and musicnotes.com offer a vast collection of sheet music in digital or physical formats. Simply search for “What Child Is This clarinet sheet music” on their websites, and you’ll find various arrangements and editions to choose from.
  3. Sheet Music Websites: There are several websites dedicated to sheet music that provide a wide range of options, including free and paid sheet music. Websites like musescore.com and 8notes.com offer user-uploaded content, which means you might find different arrangements and interpretations of “What Child Is This” by fellow musicians.
  4. Music Libraries: Public and university libraries often have a music section that includes sheet music for different instruments. Visit your local library or university library and inquire about their collection. They may allow you to borrow or make copies of the sheet music you need.
  5. Music Teachers and Peers: If you’re taking clarinet lessons or part of a music community, don’t hesitate to reach out to your music teacher or fellow clarinet players. They might have a copy of “What Child Is This” sheet music that they can share with you or provide guidance on where to find it.

Once you have obtained the sheet music for “What Child Is This,” take some time to analyze the arrangement and familiarize yourself with the musical elements. Pay attention to the key signature, tempo markings, dynamics, and any specific instructions provided by the composer or arranger. This will ensure that you interpret and play the piece accurately and with the intended emotion.

Now that you know where to find clarinet sheet music, let’s move on to some tips for playing “What Child Is This” on the clarinet.


Tips for Playing the Clarinet Sheet Music

Playing “What Child Is This” on the clarinet requires attention to detail and a strong command of the instrument. Here are some tips to help you navigate the sheet music and create a beautiful rendition of this holiday carol:

  1. Start with Proper Technique: Before diving into the sheet music, ensure that you have a solid foundation in clarinet technique. Focus on your embouchure, finger placement, breath support, and posture. Practicing scales, arpeggios, and exercises will strengthen your technique and prepare you for the demands of the piece.
  2. Listen to Different Interpretations: To develop a deeper understanding of “What Child Is This,” listen to various recordings by renowned clarinetists. Pay attention to their phrasing, dynamics, and expression. This will inspire you and provide insights into different interpretations that you can incorporate into your own playing.
  3. Observe the Dynamics: The dynamics in the sheet music indicate changes in volume and intensity. Pay attention to these markings and expressively bring out the soft and loud sections of the song. This will add depth and emotion to your performance.
  4. Interpret the Phrasing: Take note of the phrasing indicated in the sheet music. Phrasing helps create musical sentences and adds a sense of flow to the piece. Follow the phrasing marks and use expressive techniques, such as slight pauses or breath accents, to emphasize the musical phrases.
  5. Focus on Articulation: The sheet music may include articulation markings such as staccato, legato, or accents. These affect the way you play each note and contribute to the overall musicality. Practice these articulations separately and then incorporate them into your performance to enhance the character of the piece.
  6. Embrace Musicality: “What Child Is This” is a heartfelt and sentimental composition. Connect with the emotions and narratives within the music and let that inspiration shine through your playing. Experiment with different ways to express the melody and convey the story behind the lyrics.
  7. Practice Slowly and Gradually: Begin practicing the piece at a slower tempo to ensure accuracy and build familiarity with the notes and fingerings. As you become more comfortable, gradually increase the speed. Remember, accuracy is more important than speed, so take your time to master each section before moving on.
  8. Record and Listen: Record yourself playing “What Child Is This” and critically listen to your performance. Take note of areas that need improvement and work on refining your technique and interpretation. Recording yourself also allows you to evaluate your dynamics, phrasing, and overall musicality.

By applying these tips and dedicating time to practice, you’ll be able to bring out the beauty and emotion of “What Child Is This” on the clarinet. Allow your personal interpretation to shine through and enjoy the process of making music.

Now that we’ve explored various tips for playing the clarinet sheet music, let’s wrap up this article.



Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of our guide to “What Child Is This” clarinet sheet music. We hope this article has provided you with valuable information and insights into learning and playing this beautiful holiday carol on the clarinet.

Sheet music is a gateway to unlocking the magic of music, allowing you to bring melodies to life and connect with the emotions they evoke. The clarinet, with its unique sound and expressive capabilities, is a wonderful instrument for capturing the essence of “What Child Is This” and other musical compositions.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced clarinet player, finding and interpreting sheet music can be a rewarding journey. Remember to explore different sources such as music stores, online retailers, sheet music websites, and music libraries to obtain the sheet music you need. Take the time to study the dynamics, phrasing, and articulations in the sheet music, and incorporate your own personal musicality into your performance.

Don’t forget to embrace proper clarinet technique and focus on developing a strong foundation. Practice diligently and listen to different interpretations of the piece to gain inspiration and insights. And most importantly, enjoy the process of making music and let your passion and love for the clarinet shine through.

Now, armed with this knowledge and the availability of clarinet sheet music for “What Child Is This,” you can embark on an enchanting musical journey this holiday season. So, grab your clarinet, immerse yourself in the melodies of “What Child Is This,” and spread the joy and warmth of the holiday spirit through your music.

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