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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
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HIGHLY REGARDED - the Gould Piano trio with clarinettist robert pictured, second left.
Then came the main work of the evening - Brahms's glorious Clarinet Sonata in F minor Op 120 No 1, which was also written for a friend, Richard Mhlfeld, a leading clarinettist of his day.
Chris, a former clarinettist and saxophonist with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, will give both a recital and a masterclass at St Paul's Hall in Huddersfield on Tuesday at 1.
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However, he started his career at the other end of the historical range, making his professional debut in 1988 with leading contemporary music specialists the London Sinfonietta - an opportunity which came through his teacher, and regular Sinfonietta clarinettist, Michael Collins.
Born in South Shields, he was invited by Sir Thomas Beecham to become principal clarinettist in the newly-formed Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1947, a post he occupied until 1963.
Coventry Telegraph music columnist Pete Chambers said: "It may sound a cheap remark to suggest that Steve was the area's finest clarinettist, as the fact is he was pretty much the only clarinettist.
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But Mozart's pretty clarinet concerto with clarinettist Anthony Pike livened things up before the climax, Schubert's riveting String Quintet in C.
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This new recording from Nimbus features the dark, yet pure clarinet sound of Karl Leister, sometime legendary principal clarinettist of the Berlin Philharmonic.