The History of the Clarinet Leanne Crislip Technologies of Music Education Sophomore
The History of the Clarinet • The clarinet is a musical instrument in the woodwind family. The name derives from adding the suffix –et, meaning “little,” to the Italian word ,clarino, meaning a particular trumpet, as the first clarinets had a strident tone similar to that of a trumpet. Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A 2nd movement: Adagio
The History of the Clarinet • The clarinet developed from a Baroque instrument called the chalumeau. This instrument was similar to a recorder, but with a single reed mouthpiece similar to that of the modern clarinet and a cylindrical bore.
The History of the Clarinet This instrument was similar to a recorder, but with a single reed mouthpiece similar to that of the modern clarinet and a cylindrical bore. Lacking a register key, it was played only in its fundamental register, so it had a limited range of about one and a half octaves.
History of the Clarinet • Around the end of the 17th century the chalumeau was modified by converting one of its keys into a register key and produced the first clarinet. This development is attributed to a German instrument maker named Johann Christoph Denner.
History of the Clarinet • Early clarinets did not play well in the lower register, so chalumeaux continued to be made to play the low notes and these notes became known as the chalumeau register. As clarinets improved, the chalumeau fell into disuse.
History of the Clarinet • The next major development in the history of the clarinet was the invention of the modern pad. Early clarinets covered the tone holes with felt pads. Because these leaked air, the number of pads had to be kept to a minimum, so the clarinet was severely restricted in what notes could be played with a good tone.
History of the Clarinet • In 1812, Ivan Mueller,a Russian-born clarinetist and inventor, developed a new type of pad which was covered in leather or fish bladder. This was completely airtight, so the number of keys could be increased enormously. He designed a new type of clarinet with seven finger holes and thirteen keys.
History of the Clarinet • The final development in the modern design of the clarinet used in most of the world today, was introduced by Hyacinthe Klosé in 1839. He devised a different arrangement of keys and finger holes which allowed simpler fingering. It was inspired by the Boehm system developed by Theobald Boehm, a flute maker who had invented the system for flutes
History of the Clarinet • This new system was slow to catch on because it meant the player had to relearn how to play the instrument. Gradually, however, it became the standard and today the Boehm system is used everywhere in the world except Germany and Austria.
Construction of the Clarinet • Professional clarinets are usually made from African hardwood, often granadilla, rarely (because of diminishing supplies) Honduran rosewood, and sometimes even cocobolo.
Construction of the Clarinet • Metal soprano clarinets were popular in the early twentieth century, until plastic instruments supplanted them; metal construction is still used for some contra-alto and contrabass clarinets.
Construction of the Clarinet • The body of a modern soprano clarinet is equipped with numerous tone holes of which seven (six front, one back) are covered by the fingertips and the rest are opened or closed using a complicated set of keys. These tone holes allow every note of the chromatic scale to be produced.
Construction of the Clarinet • The hollow bore inside the instrument has a basically cylindrical shape, being roughly the same diameter for most of the length of the tube. There is a subtle hourglass shape, with its thinnest part at the junction between the upper and lower joint. This hourglass figure is not visible to the naked eye, but helps in the resonance of the sound.
Construction of the Clarinet • The modern clarinet is compromised of five different parts including the mouthpiece, the barrel, the upper joint, the lower joint, and the bell. mouthpiece barrel upper joint lower joint bell
Construction of the Clarinet • Contrary to popular belief, the bell does not amplify the sound; rather, it improves the uniformity of the instrument's tone for the lowest notes in each register.
Citations • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarinet#History http://www.floete.net/images/event_0306_Anz_Boehm.jpg