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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 Prince of Wales accepted the clarinet on behalf of the Prince's Trust.
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Among the pieces they will perform are Bela Bartok's "Contrasts" and Morton Gould's "Benny's Gig"; George Gershwin's Three Preludes for Piano; Leonard Bernstein's Sonata for Clarinet and Piano and Igor Stravinsky's Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo.
Part of this was that many clarinets of the time were pitched in several keys.
Once described by Simon Rattle as 'the sexiest piece of music ever' with its raunchy brass outbursts and squirting saxes preparing for a clarinet solo of Woody Hermanlike swagger and solidity, this infectious work found Parr in dazzling form.
Chris Blount obtained his first clarinet while in his teens and it soon became apparent that George Lewis, rather than any classical player, was his hero.
First, the proportions of the instruments, particularly of the bell joint, indicate that these are clarinets with three keys.
Mr Thwaites said: "Hanson Clarinets and Sound & Fair are pioneers of responsible timber sourcing within their industry.
Lefevre's contribution to the era of the virtuoso clarinetist was as an orchestral performer at the Opera in Paris, a professor at the Paris Conservatoire, and as a composer of six Clarinet Concertos, several concertante works, a Methode for clarinet (for which he is best remembered) and a number of chamber pieces including the sets of Duos for two clarinets.
Elsewhere, one senses that he is chiding some of his colleagues when he writes that "some fine players of Boehm-system clarinets are content to overload their early clarinets with mechanism and to pay scant attention to considerations of style .
Benny Goodman loved his clarinet, Harry James his trumpet and Gene Krupa his drums, but Bob Halasey has a passion for the tuba.
We buy our wood responsibly to help safeguard the hugely valuable natural resources of the tropical forests that provide the material needed to make clarinets.