Acres of Clams
Digital Sheet Music

Item Number: 20768645
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Clarinet Quartet (3 Bb Clarinets,1 Bass Clarinet) - Intermediate - Digital Download

SKU: S0.380761

Composed by Traditional, arranged by Philip Neuman. Arranged by Daniel S. Augustine. Romantic Period,Pop,Americana. Score,Set of Parts. 18 pages. Published by Daniel S. Augustine (S0.380761).

Acres of Clams features a very old popular melody, perhaps from the 1700s in England or Ireland, where it may have been a drinking song. It has many different titles and sets of lyrics, such as “The Old Settler’s Song” and “Old Rosin the Beau”. The lyrics in this version of “Acres of Clams” hark back to the gold-rush years around 1889 in Washington state. The singer laments that he has wandered all over this country digging for gold without finding any, and now he has decided to try farming and fishing in the Puget Sound (Seattle) area, “surrounded by acres of clams.” (‘Clams’ is a play on words for musicians, as it means playing a bad or wrong note.)

The Clarinet Quartet arrangement is an authorized adaptation from the Brass Sextet arrangement by Philip Neuman on the CD by the Pioneer Brass called “Acres of Clams” (Centaur CRC 2131). The melody is easy to play and not too high, but there are occasional 16th-note runs.  The bass clarinet also has 16ths, plus a cadenza and a solo of the main melody, and at one point plays a loud low concert Bb (a ‘clam’). Good high school players should be able to handle this piece easily, and they’ll have fun doing so, as will the audience.  

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