Needs Clarinet Sound file
The clarinet is a single reed instrument. It was developed in Germany over 300 years ago, based on an older instrument called the chalumeau. The 26-inch-long instrument can be made of wood, ebonite, or plastic, and is usually black in color. To produce sound, a reed made of cane must be attached to a mouthpiece. The air that is blown by the player causes the reed to vibrate against the mouthpiece to make the sound.
With a range of four octaves, the clarinet has the widest range of all the woodwind instruments—from warm low notes to a pure and clear upper register, the clarinet is often featured in orchestral solos. The clarinet is also capable of playing a wide variety of styles of music from classical to jazz. Among its many flexible tones and registers are warm, mellow sounds and high piercing sounds.
There are usually two clarinets in an orchestra, but sometimes composers call for other sizes of clarinets in their compositions like the bass clarinet or contrabass clarinet. A smaller and higher version of the clarinet is the Eb clarinet.
The Bass Clarinet is a longer and lower-pitched clarinet. Its neck is bent and metal bell is curved upwards causing it to have a deeper, more mysterious tone.