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musical wind instrument of cylindrical bore employing a single reed. The clarinet family comprises all single-reed instruments, including the saxophone. The predecessor of the modern clarinet was the simpler chalumeau, which J. C. Denner of Nuremberg improved (c.1700) into the clarinet. It was accepted into the orchestra during the 18th cent., and Mozart used it extensively. Major improvements of the key system during the 19th cent. employed the principles of Theobald Boehm. The clarinets in B flat and A are the standard orchestral instruments. The higher, shriller E flat clarinet is also a band instrument and is used occasionally in the orchestra. Of the larger clarinets, the B flat bass clarinet is the most important. The E flat alto and the E flat contrabass clarinets are mainly band instruments. Clarinets were once made in other keys, but all of these instruments are now obsolete. The basset-horn, a type of alto clarinet, was much used by Mozart and was revived by Richard Strauss. The clarinet is a transposing instrumenttransposing instrument,
a musical instrument whose part in a score is written at a different pitch than that actually sounded. Such an instrument is usually referred to by the keynote of its natural scale—the clarinet in A, for example—in which case A is sounded when
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See F. G. Rendall, The Clarinet (3d rev. ed. 1971).



a musical instrument of the woodwind family, developed from the reed pipe. The instrument is a tube with a small bell at one end and a beak-shaped mouthpiece at the other, to which a single reed (made from a thin strip of cane) is fixed. The length of the canal is 590–680 mm. The modern clarinet has approximately 20 keys and seven holes equipped with rings. It is made of granadilla or ebony wood or of plastic.

Clarinets are made in different pitches; the most common are the B-flat and A clarinets. It is a transposing instrument (the B-flat clarinet sounds a major second lower than written, while the A clarinet sounds a minor third lower). Its range (in notation) is from E to C’’’’. The clarinet family includes the piccolo clarinet; the alto, or tenor, clarinet (known as the basset horn); the bass clarinet; and the contrabass clarinet.


Blagodatov, G. Klarnet. Moscow, 1965.


a keyed woodwind instrument with a cylindrical bore and a single reed. It is a transposing instrument, most commonly pitched in A or B flat
References in periodicals archive ?
The following year, 1822, Heritage bought two reeds at Bicester Fair on 12 April; and on 29 November he notes a trip to Edgcott (two miles distant) in order to 'carry john Heed clarionet home'.
Once again, three of the musicians hired by the Ambrosden Band in early June were apparently playing together, with the addition of Thomas Parker, and it seems likely that whichever instruments were played by the other men, these would have combined with Heritage's clarionet to form an ensemble capable of providing appropriate and socially acceptable music for both listening and dancing.
The problem continued on 1 June, when he was 'very nigh not very well', while two days later he was 'at Church twice Did not Play', which suggests an improvement in health, although not sufficient to permit his playing on the clarionet.
Looking to the future, he may have concluded that, realistically, his personal involvement in the cultural pursuits in which he had so freely and energetically engaged--cricket, morris dancing, bell-ringing, playing the clarionet in the context of extended bouts of marching at the head of a procession, or even sitting playing for dancing for a number of hours on end--were drawing to a close.
A tally of the instruments played (where noted) perhaps reflects their relative popularity across a broad spectrum: eleven clarionets, five bassoons, four flutes, one trumpet, one horn, one serpent, and one 'cianwan[?
A Bilton clarinet had an interesting label: `This clarionet [sic] was part of the orchestra in a Methodist chapel in Cornwall about 120 years ago, C Sharp'.