The clarinet is a wind instrument which is particularly popular in classical music and jazz. However, artists such as The Beatles, Radiohead, Pink Floyd and Tom Waits have all used the clarinet in their music. This article deals with the history of the instrument, and it's construction.
The clarinet is a member of the woodwind family, and it can be dated back to approximately 1690, where the first clarinet was built by Johann Christoph Denner from Hermany. The word "clarinet" is derived from Italian, and means "little trumpet". This is because the first clarinets had a sound which was akin to that of a trumpet.
The clarinet developed from an instrument known as a chalumeau, which was somewhat limited in its range. When one of its keys was converted to a register key, the first clarinet was created. Soon after this, clarinets were accepted into orchestras. The clarinets saw several developments throughout the years, and in 1839 the final design was introduced by Hyacinthe Klosé. He introduced a more intuitive arrangement of the keys and pads, which is referred to as the Boehm-system.
The clarinet is typically constructed out of wood, but may also be constructed out of plastic, synthetic materials or rubber. During World War II they were even constructed out of metal, as it was easier to get hold of.
From a technical standpoint, the clarinet has a great range, which has helped make it such a popular instrument. It actually has the greatest range of any wood instrument.
The notes of the clarinet are arranged in these three registers:
The clarinet was often used in classical compositions as it has a very distinct timbre, but it has also gone on to become a very popular instrument in jazz music. It is still a very popular instrument to this day, in spite of its age. The clarinet is an instrument which is sure to bring you joy, whether you play it by yourself or with others.
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