General information and resources for students and adult learners.

The Clarinet


The clarinet is a popular instrument today. A clarinet is a woodwind instrument. It is shaped like a narrow tube. You play it by blowing in one end through a pointed mouthpiece. The mouthpiece has a thin piece of bamboo called a reed in it.
The clarinet is a single-reeded member of the woodwind family and it was the first reed instrument in which an extensive range of notes over three octaves could be obtained from a cylinder.
There are several members of the clarinet family including the soprano, alto, basset horn, bass and double or contra-bass. They are traditionally made of wood, but today many clarinets are made of special plastic instead. It is cheaper than wood.
History of Clarinet
People have played woodwind instruments for thousand of years. The clarinet developed from an instrument of the early 1600s called the chalumeau, similar to a recorder. This had a reed tied over a large hole in the mouthpiece, it had seven holes and one key for the player to change notes.
The clarinet was derived from the Italian word clarinetto meaning "little trumpet". The clarinet was invented by the German Flute maker Johann Denne in 1690 and was adapted over the years until the German flautist Theobold Boehm devised the clarinet we know today.
Learning to play an instrument takes a while but is well worth the effort. 
It is a great fun to play in groups of clarinettists. 
You can do it by joining a school orchestra or a marching band.
 It takes a lot of practice and time to improve on playing the clarinet. 

So you want to play the clarinet?
It is not a difficult instrument to play, of all the wood wind instruments, the clarinet makes the widest range of sounds:
  • It can play low notes and high notes, it sounds range from smooth and gentle to honks and shrieks.
Clarinets are common in marching bands,orchestras, jazz and folk groups but not much in rock music because it is not loud enough to compete with electric instruments usually found in rock band.
Many schools include lessons in their curriculum and the clarinet plays an important role in school orchestra, musical ensemble and marching bands.
Many students hire a clarinet for a short time before buying it. Hiring is cheaper than buying. It gives you the chance to decide whether the clarinet is the right instrument for you. It also lets you try different types of clarinets.
You can also buy secondhand clarinet they are cheaper than new ones. Music teachers can help you choose a beginner's clarinet. They may even recommend a particular type of clarinet.
Make sure that the instrument you choose has a secure case, that will protect it when you carry it around.
Fact File
  • The famous Austrian composer Wolfgang Mozart was the first composer to use the clarinet in a symphony. He believe it was the instrument closest in sound to the human voice.
How the Clarinet Works- Parts of the Clarinet



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