Scope and arrangement
The Benny Goodman Collection represents a portion of the clarinetist's personal music collection that was used in his performances and recordings. The majority of works in the collection are arrangements of popular songs. Among the exceptions are a handful of concert works, including Gordon Jenkins's clarinet concerto, and Gershwin's I Got Rhythm Variations arranged by Morton Gould.
A number of important arrangers are represented in the Benny Goodman Collection. See the List of Arrangers.
Most of the arrangements are for band, though there are a number of exceptions. Arrangements by Morton Gould are for symphonic orchestra, as are several other large-scale works.
Instrumentation is noted generally in the order in which it appears on band scores. The following abbreviations are used: cl = clarinet (most often a solo clarinet is Benny Goodman's part), A = alto saxophone, T = tenor saxophone, B = baritone saxophone, f = flute, picc = picccolo, ob = oboe, bcl = bass clarinet, frh = French horn, trpt = trumpet, trb = trombone, vb = vibraphone, G = guitar, P = piano, B = bass, D = drums, V = vocalist. Hence, the following note:
clAATTB, 4trpts, 3trbs, vb, GPBDV
would indicate a clarinet solo part, 2 alto saxophones, 2 tenor saxophones, 1 baritone saxophone, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, vibraphone, guitar, piano, bass, drums, and a vocalist's part.
In a number of cases the collection contains only a score, or only a set of parts for a particular title.
The Benny Goodman Collection is organized in a single series and is arranged alphabetically by song title.