Clarinet reviews, articles, and tips for beginners and beyond
In this series...
The Clarinet is believed to have been invented by Johann Christoph Denner in the early 18th century. Unfortunately, Denner didn’t live to see how popular his invention would become, dying just a few years later. It was essentially a redesign of an earlier folk instrument called the Chalumeau.
The modern system of keys on a Clarinet was in use by the mid 19th century, and the instrument has remained relatively unchanged since.
Despite its classical origins, the Clarinet is equally renowned for its use in the jazz genre.
A standard Clarinet is roughly 60cm long and is made of wood. Some less expensive models are made from plastic.
The most commonly used version is pitched in the key of B flat, with Clarinets pitched in A being the second most common.
The main parts are a mouthpiece at the top, to which you need to attach a single wooden reed before playing. The main body is where the keys are, and the end piece of the instrument is called the bell.
The standard written range of a Clarinet is from E3 to C7, spanning nearly four octaves. This comparatively large range makes it a very versatile instrument.
How To Play
To play a note on the Clarinet you need to put the mouthpiece between your bottom lip and top teeth and blow, ensuring that you seal the corners of your mouth around the mouthpiece.
Clarinet players place a finger on each of the instrument’s keys, and the note that’s produced depends on which of these keys are open and closed.
The Clarinet is a popular instrument with celebrities, with players including Julia Roberts and Steven Spielberg.
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