Hoedown for Copland’s Rodeo has always felt like a vicious tonguing exercise on the wrong clarinet. Why would an orchestrator of Copland’s caliber make us do anything in E Major on a Bb clarinet when a perfectly good A clarinet could do it better in F Major? So, the principal clarinetist and I collectively decided to do it on A clarinet. (Links to the parts are below.) Of course, it was much easier to play in F Major, but I started to wonder if it was worth it. I, admittedly, was painfully flat on my opening F playing on a cold instrument, but even more obvious was the unsuitable timbre. I missed the extra “punch” that is a little easier on Bb. I think Copland knew exactly what he was doing when he put a Bb clarinet in E Major. (Of course he did… He was a master orchestrator!) So, before you download the transposed parts in A, please consider the original version in Bb.