The Clarinet: History and Players

Topics: Clarinet, Single-reed instrument, Saxophone Pages: 4 (1393 words) Published: March 3, 2013
The Clarinet
The clarinet is such a small musical instrument, but has such a large variety of uses. I play the clarinet myself, and this is what provoked me to choose it as my topic. The Area of Interaction acquainted with this topic is Human Ingenuity because music is a wonderful creation that is a form of entertainment to many people around the world. The clarinet has a unique build, a great deal of refining to go through, an intriguing history, several “spin-offs” of itself, and has been the key to many musicians’ careers.

A clarinet is “a woodwind musical instrument in the shape of a cylindrical tube having a single reed mouthpiece” (Merriam Webster Intermediate Dictionary). The clarinet disassembles into seven parts. They are the bell, lower joint, upper joint, the barrel, the mouthpiece, the ligature, and the reed. The ligature holds the reed to the mouthpiece. The reed vibrates the air that is blown into the clarinet and the size of the air column determines the pitch. You change the size of the air column by placing your fingers over the holes or onto the keys on the two joints of the clarinet. The bell’s purpose is to help the tone of the lower notes. The clarinet’s large pitch range is divided into three ranges: The Chalumeau range (going from the lowest note, E to B flat), the Clarion range (which goes from B to C), and the Altissimo range (which goes from C sharp on up).

The creator of the clarinet was Johann Christoph Denner. He was a German musician; however, he devoted his time mostly to refining existing woodwind instruments. (Encyclopedia Britannica). The instrument that he refined to create the clarinet was the Chalumeau, which is said to be the first single reed instrument that existed. The Chalumeau had the range of F (one above the E) to B flat. All Denner did to the chalumeau was add on a register key, which increased the notes by a twelfth. (The register key made it possible that, when it was pressed, the pitch would go up 12 notes,...
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