Online Encyclopedia

CLARINET, or CLARIONET (Fr. clarinett...

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 441 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
CLARINET, or CLARIONET (Fr. clarinette; Ger. Clarinette, Klarinett; Ital. clarinetto, chiarinetto), a wood-wind instrument having a cylindrical bore and played by means of a single-reed mouthpiece. The word " clarinet " is said to be derived from clarinetto, a diminutive of clarino, the Italian for (1) the soprano trumpet, (2) the highest register of the instrument, (3) the trumpet played musically without the blare of the martial instrument. The word " clarionet " is similarly derived from " clarion," the English equivalent of clarino. It is suggested that the name clarinet or clarinetto was bestowed on account of the resemblance in timbre between the high registers of the clarino and clarinet. By adding the speaker-hole to the old chalumeau, J. C. Denner gave it an additional compass based on the over-blowing of the harmonic twelfth, and consisting of an octave and a half of harmonics, which received the name of clarino, while the lower register tetained the name of chalumeau. There is something to be said also in favour of another suggested derivation from the Italian chiarina, the name for reed instruments and the equivalent for tibia and aulos. At the beginning of the 18th century in Italy clarinetto, the diminutive of clarino, would be masculine, whereas chiarinetta or clarinetta would be feminine,' as in Doppelmayr's account of the invention written in 1730. The word " clarinet " is sometimes used in a generic sense to denote the whole family, which consists of the clarinet, or discant corresponding to the violin, oboe, &c.; the alto clarinet in E; the basset horn in F (q.v.); the bass clarinet (q.v.), and the pedal clarinet (q.v.). The modern clarinet consists of five (or four) separate pieces: (1) the mouthpiece; (2) the bulb; (3) the upper middle joint, or left-hand joint; (4) the lower middle joint, or right-hand joint 2 ; (5) the bell; which (the bell excepted) when joined together, form a tube with a continuous cylindrical bore, 2 ft. or more in length, according to the pitch of the instrument. The mouthpiece, including the beating or single-reed common to the whole clarinet family, has the appearance of a beak with the point bevelled off and thinned at the edge to correspond with the end of 'See Gottfried Weber's objection to this derivation in "~Jber Clarinette and Basset-horn," Caecilia (Mainz, 1829), vol. xi. pp. 36 and 37, note. 2 Nos. 3 and 4 are sometimes made in one, as for instance in Messrs Rudall, Carte & Company's modification, the Klussmann patent.the reed shaped like a spatula. The under part of the mouthpiece (fig. 2) is flattened in order to form a table for the support of the reed which is adjusted thereon with great nicety, allowing just the amount of play requisite to set in vibration the column of air within the tube. The mouthpiece, which is subject to continual fluctuations of dampness and dryness, and to changes of temperature, requires to be made of a material having great powers of resistance, such as cocus wood, ivory or vulcanite, which are mostly used for the purpose in England. A longitudinal aperture r in. long and z in. wide, communicating with the bore, is cut in the table and covered by the reed. The aperture is thus closed except towards the point, where, for the distance of a to in., the reed is thinned and the table curves backwards towards the point, leaving a gap between the ends of the mouthpiece and of the reed of r mm. or about the thickness of a sixpence for the B flat clarinet. The curve of the table and the size of the gap are there-fore of considerable importance. The reed is cut from a joint of the Arundo donax or saliva, which grows wild in the regions bordering on the Mediterranean. A flat slip of the reed is cut, flattened on one side and thinned to a very delicate edge on the other. At first the reed was fastened to the table by means of many turns of a fine waxed cord. The metal band adjusted by means of two screws, known as the " ligature," was introduced about 1817 by Ivan Muller. The reed is set in vibration by the breath of the performer, and being flexible it beats against the table, opening and closing the gap at a rate depending on the rate of the vibrations it sets up in the air column, this rate varying according to the length of the column as determined by opening the lateral holes and keys. A cylindrical tube played by means of a reed has the acoustic properties of a stopped pipe, i.e. the fundamental tone produced by the tube is an octave lower than the corresponding tone of (Albert Model). an open pipe of the same length, and over- blows a twelfth; whereas tubes having a conical bore like the oboe, and played by means of a reed, speak as open pipes and overblow an octave. This forms the fundamental difference between the instruments of the oboe and clarinet families. Wind instruments de-pending upon lateral holes for the production of their scale must either have as many holes pierced in the bore as they require notes, or make use of the property possessed by the air-column of dividing into harmonics or partials of the fundamental tones. Twenty to twenty-two holes is the number generally accepted as the practical limit for the clarinet; beyond that number the fingering and mechanism become too complicated. The compass of the clarinet is therefore extended through the medium of the harmonic overtones. In stopped pipes a node is formed near the mouthpiece, and they are therefore only able to produce the uneven harmonics, such as the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, &c., correspond- ing to the fundamental, and the diatonic intervals of the 5th one octave above, and of the 3rd and 7th two octaves above the fundamental. By pressing the reed with the lip near the base where it is thicker and stiffer, and increasing the pressure of the breath, the air-column is forced to divide and to sound the I 'I r 4! harmonics, a principle well understood by the ancient Greeks and Romans in playing upon the aulos and tibia.' This is easier to accomplish with the double reed than with the beating reed; in fact with a tube of wide diameter, such as that of the modern clarinet, it would not be possible by this means alone to do justice to the tone of the instrument or to the music now written for it. The bore of the aulos was very much narrower than that of the clarinet. In order to facilitate the production of the harmonic notes on the clarinet, a small hole, closed by means of a key and called the " speaker," is bored near the mouthpiece. By means of this small hole the air-column is placed in communication with the external atmosphere, a ventral segment is formed, and the air-column divides into three equal parts, producing a triple number of vibrations resulting in the third note of the harmonic series, at an interval of a twelfth above the fundamental.' In a wind instrument with lateral holes the fundamental note corresponding to any particular hole is produced when all the holes below that hole are open and it itself and all above it are closed, the effective length of the resonating tube being shortened as each of the closed holes is successively uncovered. In order to obtain a complete chromatic scale on the clarinet at least eighteen holes are required. This series produces with the bell-note a succession of nineteen semitones, giving the range of a twelfth and known as the fundamental scale or chalumeau register, so called, no doubt, because it was the compass (without chromatic semitones) of the more primitive predecessor of the clarinet, known as the chalumeau, which must not be confounded with the shawm or schalmey of the middle ages. The fundamental scale of the modern clarinet in C extends from -to 1 The next octave and a half is obtained by opening -ar the speaker key, whereby each of the fundamental notes is reproduced a twelfth higher; the bell-note thus jumps from E to B#, the first key gives instead of F its twelfth C$$, and so on, extending the compass to --. which ends the natural compass of the instrument, although a skilful performer may obtain another octave by cross-fingering. The names of the holes and keys on the clarinet are derived not from the notes of the fundamental scale, but from the name of the twelfth produced by overblowing with the speaker key open; for instance, the first key near the bell is known not as the E key but as the B. The use of the speaker key forms the greatest technical difficulty in learning to play the clarinet, on account of the thumb having to do double duty, closing one hole and raising the lever of the speaker key simultaneously. In a clarinet designed by Richard Carte this difficulty was ingeniously overcome by placing the left thumb-hole towards the front, and closing it by a thumb-lever or with a ring action by the first or second finger of the left hand, thus leaving the thumb free to work the speaker key alone. There is good reason to think that the ancient Greeks understood the advantage of a speaker-hole, which they called Syrinx, for facilitating the production of harmonics on the aulos. The credit of the discovery of this interesting fact is due to A. A. Howard,' of Harvard University; it explains many passages in the classics which before were obscure (see Autos). Plutarch relates' that Telephanes of Megara was so incensed with the syrinx that he never allowed his instrument-makers to place one on any of his auloi; he even went so far as to absent himself, principally on account of the syrinx, from the Pythian games. Telephanes was a great virtuoso who scorned the use of a speaker-hole, being able to obtain his harmonics on the aulos by the mere control of lips and teeth. The modern clarinet has from thirteen to nineteen keys, some being normally open and others closed. In order to understand why, when once the idea of adding keys to the chalumeau had been conceived, the number rose so slowly, keys being added one or two at a time by makers of various nationalities at long intervals, it is r Aristotle (de Audib. 802 b 18, and 804 a) and Porphyry (ed. Wallis, pp. 249 and 252) mention that if the performer presses the zeuge (mouthpiece) or the glottai (reeds) of the pipes, a sharper tone is produced. 2 Cf. V. C. Mahillon, Elements d'acoustique musicale et instrumentale (Brussels, 1894), p. 161; and Fr. Zamminer, Die Musik and die musikalischen Instrumente in ihrer Beziehung zu den Gesetzen der Akustik . . . (Giessen, 1855), pp. 297 and 298. S " The Aulos or Tibia," Harvard Studies, iv. (Boston, 1893). 4 De Musica, 1138. necessary to consider the effect of boring holes in the side of a cylindrical tube. If it were possible to proceed from an absolute theoretical basis, there would be but little difficulty; there are, how-ever, practical reasons which make this a matter of great difficulty. According to V. Mahillon,' the theoretical length of a Bb clarinet (French pitch diapason normal A=435 vibrations), is 39 cm. when the internal diameter of the bore measures exactly 1.4 cm. Any increase in the diameter of the cylindrical bore for a given length of tube raises the pitch proportionally and in the same way a decrease lowers it. A bore narrow in proportion to the length facilitates the production of the harmonics, which is no doubt the reason why the aulos was made with a very narrow diameter, and produced such deep notes in proportion to Its length. In determining the position of the holes along the tube, the thickness of the wood to be pierced must be taken into consideration, for the length of the passage from the main bore to the outer air adds to the length of the resonating column; as, however, the clarinet tube is reckoned as a closed one, only half the extra length must be taken into account. When placed in Its correct theoretical position, a hole should have its diameter equal to the diameter of the main bore, which is the ideal condition for obtaining a full, rich tone; it is, however, feasible to give the hole a smaller diameter, altering its position by placing it nearer the mouthpiece. These laws, which were likewise known to the Greeks and Romans,' had to be rediscovered by experience in the 18th and 19th centuries, during which the mechanism of the key system was repeatedly improved. Due consideration having been given to these points, it will also be necessary to remember that the stopping of the seven open holes leaves only the two little fingers (the thumb of the right hand being in the ordinary clarinet engaged in supporting the instrument) free at all times for key service, the other fingers doing duty when momentarily disengaged. The fingering of the clarinet is the most difficult of any instrument in the orchestra, for it differs in all four octaves of its compass. Once mastered, however, it is the same for all clarinets, the music being always written in the key of C. The actual tonality of the clarinet is determined by the diatonic scale produced when, starting with keys untouched and finger and thumb-holes closed, the fingers are raised one by one from the holes. In the Bb clarinet, the real sounds thus produced are being part of the scale of Bb major. By the closing of two open keys, the lower Eb and D are added. The following are the various sizes of clarinets with the key proper to each: Eb, a minor third above the C clarinet. Bb, a tone below The high F, 4 tones above „ „ The D, 1 tone above „ The low G, a fourth below „ The A, a minor third below The B# 1 semitone below The alto clarinet in Eb, a fifth below the Bb clarinet. The tenor or basset horn, in F, a fifth below the C clarinet. The bass clarinet in Bb, an 8Ve below that in Bb. The pedal clarinet in Bb, an 800 below the bass clarinet. The clarinets in Bb and A are used in the orchestra; those in C and Eb in military bands. History.—Although the single beating-reed associated with the instruments of the clarinet family has been traced in ancient Egypt, the double reed, characteristic of the oboe family, being of simpler construction, was probably of still greater antiquity. An ancient Egyptian pipe found in a mummy-case and now preserved in the museum at Turin was found to contain a beating-reed sunk 3 in. below the end of the pipe, which is the principle of the drone. It would appear that the double chalumeau, called arghoul (q.v.) by the modern Egyptians, was known in ancient Egypt, although it was not perhaps in common use. The Musee Guimet possesses a copy of a fresco from the tombs at Saggarah (executed under the direction of Mariette Bey) as-signed to the 4th or 5th dynasty, on which is shown a concert with dancing; the instruments used are two harps, the long oblique flute " nay,” blown from the end without any mouthpiece or embouchure, arid an instrument identified as an arghoul Op. cit. pp. 16o et seq. ; and Wilhelm Altenburg, Die Klarinette (Heilbronn, 1904), p. 9, who refers to Mahillon. See Macrobius, Comm. in somnium Scipionis, ii. 4. 5 " nee secus probamus in tibiis de quarum foraminibus vicinis inflantis on sonus acutus emittitur, de longinquis autem et termino proximis, gravior: item acutior per patentiora foramina, gravior per angusta.” See Victor Loret, L'Egypte au temps des Pharaons—la vie, le science, et l'art (Paris, 1889), illustration p. 139 and p. 143. The author gives no information about this fresco except that it Is in the from its resemblance to the modern instrument of the same name. This is believed to be the only illustration of the ancient double chalumeau yet found in Egypt, with the single exception of a hieroglyph occurring also once only, i.e. the sign read As-it, consisting of a cylindrical pipe with a beak mouthpiece bound round with a cord tied in a bow. The bow is taken to indicate the double parallel pipes bound together; the same sign without the bow occurs frequently and is read Ma-it,' and is considered to he the generic name for reed wind instruments. The beating-reed was probably introduced into classic Greece from Egypt or Asia Minor. A few ancient Greek instruments are extant, five of which are in the British Museum. They are as nearly cylindrical as would be the natural growing reed itself. The probability is that both single and double reeds were at times used with the Greek aulos and the Roman tibia. V. Mahillon and A. A. Howard of Harvard have both obtained facsimiles of actual instruments, some found at Pompeii and now deposited in the museum at Naples, and others in the British Museum. Experiments made with these instruments, whose original mouthpieces have perished, show that with pipes of such narrow diameter the fundamental scale and pitch are the same whether sounded by means of a single or of a double reed, but the modern combination of single reed and cylindrical tube alone gives the full pure tone quality. The subject is more fully discussed in the article AuLOS? The Roman tibia, if monuments can be trusted, sometimes had a beak-shaped mouthpiece, as for instance that attached to a pipe discovered at Pompeii, or that shown in a scene on Trajan's column.3 It is probable that when, at the decline of the Roman empire, instrumental music was placed by the church under a ban—and the tibia more especially from its association with every form of licence and moral depravity—this instrument, sharing the common fate, survived chiefly among itinerant musicians who carried it into western Europe, where it was preserved from complete extinction. An instrument of difficult technique requiring an advanced knowledge of acoustics was not, however, likely to flouri4h or even to be understood among nations whose culture was as yet in its infancy. The tide of culture from the Byzantine empire filtered through to the south and west, leaving many traces; a fresh impetus was received from the east through the Arabs; and later, as a result of the Crusades, the prototype of the clarinet, together with the practical knowledge necessary for making the instrument and playing upon it, may have been re-introduced through any one or all of these sources. However this may be, the instrument was during the Carolingian period identified with the tibia of the Romans until such time as the new western civilization ceased to be content to go back to classical Rome for its models, and began to express itself, at first naively and awkwardly, as the 11th century dawned. The name then changed to the derivatives of the Greek kalamos, assuming an almost bewildering variety of forms, of which the commonest are chalemie, chalumeau, schalmey, scalmeye, shawm, calemel, kalemele.4 The derivation of the name seems to point to a Byzantine rather than an Arab source for the revival of the instruments which formed the prototype of both oboe and clarinet, but it must not be forgotten that the instruments with a conical bore—more especially those played by a reed—are primarily of Asiatic origin. At the beginning of the 13th century Musee Guimet. It is probably identical with the second of the mural paintings described on p. 190 of Petit guide illustre an Musee Guimet, par L. de Milloue. ' See Victor Loret, " Les fl6tes egyptiennes antiques," Journal asiatique (Paris, 1889), [81, xiv. pp. 129, 130, 132. 2 See also A. A. Howard, " Study on the Aulos or Tibia," Harvard Studies, vol. iv. (Boston, 1893) ; F. C. Gevaert, Musique de l'antiquite; Carl von Jan, article " Floete " in August Baumeister's Denkmetler des klassischen Alterthums (Leipzig, 1884-1888), vol. i.; Dr Hugo Riemann, Handbuch der Musikgesch. vol. i. p. 90, &c. (Leipzig, 1904) ; all of whom have not come to the same conclusions. 3 Wilhelm Froehner, La Colonize trajane (Paris, '872), t. ii. pl. 76. I " Aveuc aus ert vestus Guis Ki leur cante et Kalemele, En la muse au grant bourdon." J. A. U. Scheler's Trouveres France, where the instrument remained a special favourite until it was displaced by the clarinet, the chalumeau is mentioned in some of the early romances:—" Tabars et chalemiaux et estrumens sonner " (Aye d'Avignon, v. 4137); " Grelles et chelimiaus et buisines bruians " (Gui de Bourgogne, v. 1374), &c. By the end of the 13th century, the German equivalent Schalmey appears in the literature of that country,—" Pusflnen and Schalmeyen schal moht niemen da gehoeren wal " (Frauendienst, 492, fol. 5, Ulrich von Lichtenstein). The schalmey or shawm is frequently represented in miniatures from the 13th century, but it must have been known long before, since it was at that period in use as the chaunter of the bag-pipe (q.v.), a fully-developed complex instrument which presupposes a separate previous existence for its component parts. We have no reason to suppose that any distinction was drawn between the single and double reed instruments during the early middle ages—if indeed the single reed was then known at all—for the derivatives of kalamos were applied to a variety of pipes. The first clear and unmistakable drawing yet found of the single reed occurs in Mersenne's Harmonic universelle (p. 282), where the primitive reed pipe is shown with the beating-reed detached from the tube of the instrument itself, by making a lateral slit and then splitting back a little tongue of reed towards a knot. Mersenne calls this the simplest form of chalumeau or wheat-stalk (tuyau de ble). It is evident that no significance was then attached to the form of the vibrating reed, whether single or double, for Mersenne and other writers of his time call the chaunters of the musette and cornemuse chalumeaux whether they are of cylindrical or of conical bore. The difference in timbre produced by the two kinds of reeds was, however, understood, for Mersenne states that a special kind of cornemuse was used in concert with the hautbois de Poitou (an oboe whose double reed was enclosed in an air chamber) and was distinguished from the shepherd's cornemuse by having double reeds through-out, whereas the drones of the latter instrument were furnished with beating reeds. It is therefore evident that as late as 1636 (the date at which Mersenne wrote) in France the word " chalumeau " was not applied to the instrument transformed some sixty years later into the clarinet, nor was it applied exclusively to any one kind of pipe except when acting as the chaunter of the bagpipe, and that independently of any structural characteristics. The chaunter was still called chalumeau in 1737.6 Of the instrument which has been looked upon as the chalumeau, there is but little trace in Germany or in France at the beginning of the 77th century. A chalumeau with beak mouthpiece and characteristic short cylindrical tube pierced with six holes figures among the musical instruments used far the triumphal procession of the emperor Maximilian I., commemorated by a fine series of plates,6 engraved on wood by Hans Burgkmair, the friend and colleague of A. Durer. On the same plate (No. 79) are five schalmeys with double reeds and five chalumeaux with single-reed beak mouthpieces: the latter instruments were in all probability made in the Netherlands, which excelled from the 12th century in the manufacture of all musical instruments. No single-reed instrument, with the exception of the regal (q.v.), is figured by S. Virdung,7 M. Agricola3 or M. Praetorius.9 A good idea of the primitive chalumeau may be gained from a reproduction of one of the few specimens from the 16th or 17th century still extant, which belonged to Cesare Snoeck and was exhibited at the Royal Military Exhibition in London in 1890.10 The tube is stopped at the mouthpiece end by a natural joint of 6 See Ernest Thoinan, Les Hotteterre et les Chedeville, celebres facteurs de ,/lutes, hautbois, bassons et musettes (Paris, 1894), p. 15 et seq., and Methode pour la musette, &c., par Hotteterre le Romain (Paris, 1737). 6 The whole series of 135 plates has been reproduced in Jahrb. d. Samml. des Allerh. Kaiserhauses (Vienna, 1883-1884). Musica getutscht and auszgezogen (Basel, 1511). 3 Musica Instrumentalis Deudsch (Nuremberg, 1528 and 1545). 9 Syntagma Musicum (Wolfenbiittel, 1618). This work and those mentioned in the two previous notes have been reprinted by the Ges. f. Musikforschung in vols. xi., xx. and xiii. of Publikationen (Berlin). 19 See Descriptive Catalogue, by Capt. C. R. Day (London, 1891), pl. iv. A and p. no, No. 221. the reed, and a tongue has been detached just under the joint; there are six finger-holes and one for the thumb. An instrument almost identical with the above, but with a rudimentary bell, and showing plainly the detached tongue, is figured by Jost Amman in 1589.1 A plate in Diderot and d'Alembert's Encyclopedie' shows a less primitive instrument, outwardly cylindrical and having a separate mouthpiece joint and a clarinet reed but no keys. A chalumeau without keys, but consisting apparently of three joints—mouthpiece, main tube and bell,—is figured on the title-page of a musical work3 dated 169o; it is very similar to the one represented in fig. 3, except that only six holes are visible. In his biographical notice of J. Christian Denner (1655-1707), J. G. Doppelmayr' states that at the beginning of the 18th century " Denner invented a new kind of pipe, the so- called clarinet, which greatly delighted lovers of music; he also made great improvements in the stock or rackett-fagottos, known in the olden time and finally also in the chalumeaux." It is probable that the improvements in the chalumeau to which Doppelmayr alludes with- (b) out understanding them consisted (a) in giving the mouthpiece the shape of a beak and adding a separate reed tongue as in that of the modern clarinet, unless this change had already taken place in the Netherlands, the country which the unremitting labours of E. van der Straeten 5 have revealed as taking the lead in Europe from the 14th to the 16th century in the construc- tion of musical instruments of all kinds; (b) in the boring of two additional holes for A and B near the mouthpiece and covering them with two keys; (c) in replacing the long cylindrical mouthpiece joint by a bulb, thus restoring one of the characteristic features of the tibia, 9 known as the SAµos. There are a few of these improved chalumeaux in existence, two being in the Bavarian national museum at Munich, the one in high A, in a bad state of preservation, the second in C, marked J. C. Denner, of which V. Mahillon has made a facsimile' for the museum of the Brussels Conservatoire. There are two keys and eight holes; the first consists of two small holes on the same level giving a semitone if only one be closed. If the thumb-key be left open, the sounds of the fundamental scale (shown in the black notes below) rise a twelfth to form the second register (the white notes) a- m >$ 42- - 4'2 t o s^r^ 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 K. x This early clarinet or improved chalumeau has a clarinet mouth-piece, but no bulb; it measures 5o cm. (20 in.), whereas the one in A mentioned above is only 28 cm. in length, the long cylindrical tube between mouthpiece and key-joint, afterwards turned into the bulb, being absent. Mahillon was probably the first to point out that the so-called invention of the clarinet by J. C. Denner consisted in providing a device—the speaker-key—to facilitate the production of the harmonics of the fundamental. Can we be sure that the same result was not obtained on the old chalumeau ' Wappenbuch, p. 111, " Musica." 2 Paris, 1767, vol. v. " Planches," pl. ix. 2o, 21, 22. 3 Dr Theofilo Muffat, " Componimenti musicali per it cembalo," in Denkmaler d. Tonkunst in Osterreich, Bd. in. ° Historische Nachricht von den Nurnbergischen Mathematicis u. Kdnstlern, &c. (Nuremberg, 1730), p. 305. 5 Histoire de la musique aux Pays Bas avant le XIX, siecle. 6 For a facsimile of one of the Pompeii tibiae, see Capt. C. R. Day, op. cit. pl. iv. C. and p. 109. ' Catalogue descriptif (Ghent, 1896), vol. ii. p. 211, No. 911, where an illustration is given. See also Capt. C. R. Day, op. cit. pl. iv. B and Errata where the description is printed. before keys were added, by partially uncovering the hole for the thumb ? The Berlin museum possesses an early clarinet with two keys, marked J. B. Oberlender, derived from the Snoeck collection. Paul de Wit's collection has a similar specimen by Enkelmer. The Brussels Conservatoire possesses clarinets with two keys by Flemish makers, G. A. Rottenburgh and J. B. Willems'; the latter, with a small bulb and bell, is in G a fifth above the C clarinet. The next improvements in the clarinet, made in 1720, are due to J. Denner, probably a son of J. C. Denner. They consisted in the addition of a bell and in the removal of the speaker-hole and key nearer the mouthpiece, involving the reduction of the diameter of the hole. The effect of this change of position was to turn the Bq into Bb, for J.Denner introduced into the hole, nearly as far as the axis of the bore, a small metal drainage tube9 for the moisture of the breath. In the modern clarinet, the same result is attained by raising this little tube slightly above the surface of the main tube, placing a key on the top of it, and bending the lever. In order to produce the missing BtI, J. Denner lengthened the tube and pierced another hole, the low E, covered by an open key with a long lever which, when closed, gives the desired B as its twelfth, thus forming a connexion between the two registers. A clarinet with three keys, of similar construction (about 175o), marked J. W. Kenigsperger, is pre-served in the Bavarian national museum, at Munich. Another in Bb marked Lindner 1° belongs to the collection at Brussels. About the middle of the r8th century, the number of keys was raised to five, some say" by Barthold Fritz of Brunswick 1$: 0 According toAltenburg12 the Eb or D# key is due to the virtuoso Joseph Beer (1744-1811). The sixth key was added about 1790 by the celebrated French virtuoso Xavier Lefebure (or Lefevre), and produced G#. Anton Stadler and his brother, both clarinettists in the Vienna court orchestra and instrument-makers, are said to have lengthened the tube of the Bb clarinet, extending the compass down to C (real sound Bb). It was for the Stadler brothers that Mozart wrote his quintet for strings, with a fine obbligato for the clarinet in A (1789), and the clarinet concerto with orchestra in 1791. This, then, was the state of the clarinet in 1810 when Ivan Muller, then living in Paris, carried the number of keys up to thirteen, and made several structural improvements already mentioned, which gave us the modern instrument and inaugurated a new era in the construction and technique of the clarinet. 1VItiller's system is still adopted in principle by most clarinet makers. The instrument was successively improved during the 19th century by the Belgian makers Bachmann, the elder Sax, Albert and C. Mahillon, whose invention in 1862 of the C# key with double action is now generally adopted. In Paris the labours of Lefebure, Buffet-Crampon, and Goumas are pre-eminent. In 1842 H. E. Klose conceived the idea of adapting to the clarinet the ingenious mechanism of movable rings, invented by Boehm for the flute, and he entrusted the execution of this innovation to Buffet-Crampon; this is the type of clarinet generally adopted in French orchestras. From this adaptation has sprung the erroneous notion that Klose's clarinet was constructed according to the Boehm system; Klose's lateral divisions of the tube do not follow those applied by Boehm to the flute. In England the clarinet has also passed through several progressive stages since its introduction about 1770, and first of 8 For a description with illustration see V. Mahillon's Catalogue descriptif (Ghent, 1896), vol. ii. p. 215, No. 916. 9 See Wilhelm Altenburg, op. cit. p. 6. 19 See V. Mahillon, Catal. descript. (1896), p. 213, No. 913. 11 H. Welcker von Gontershausen, Die musikalischen Tonwerkzeuge (Frankfort-on-Main, 1855), p. 141. " Op. cit. p. 6. (a) (From Diderot and d'Alembert's Encyclo pedie.) Chalumeau, 1767. (a) Front, (b) Back view. (1697-1766), who added keys for C# and D#. all at the hands of Cornelius Ward. The principal improvements were due to Richard Carte, who took out a patent in 1858 for an improved Boehm clarinet which possessed some claim to the name, since Boehm's principle of boring the holes at theoretically correct intervals and of venting the holes by means of open holes below was carried out. Carte made several modifications of his original patent, his chief endeavour being to so dispose the key-work as to reduce the difficulties in fingering. By the extension of the principle of the ring' action, the work of the third and little fingers of the left hand was simplified and the fingering of certain difficult notes and shakes greatly facilitated. Messrs Rudall, Carte & Company have made further improvements in the clarinet, which are embodied in Klussmann's patent (fig. 4) ; these consist in the introduction of the duplicate G# key, a note which has hitherto formed a serious obstacle to perfect execution. The duplicate key, operated by the third or second finger of the right hand, releases the fourth finger of the left hand. The old G# is still retained and may be used in the usual way if desired. The body of the instrument is now made in one joint, and the position of the G# hole is mathematically correct, whereby perfect intonation for C#, G# and Pi is secured. Other improvements were made in Paris by Messrs Evette & Schaeffer and by M. Paradis,' a clarinet-player in the band of the Garde Republicaine, and very great improvements in boring and in key mechanism were effected by Albert of Brussels (see fig. I). The clarinet appears to have received appreciation in the Netherlands earlier than in its own native land. According to W. Altenburg (op. cit. p. II),2 a MS. is preserved in the cathedral at Antwerp of a mass written by A. J. Faber in 1720, which is scored for a clarinet. Johann Mattheson,' Kapellmeister at Hamburg, mentions clarinet music in 1713, although Handel, whose rival he was, does not appear to have known the instrument. Joh. Christ. Bach scored for the clarinet in 1763 in his opera Orione performed in London, and Rameau had already employed the instrument in 1751 in a theatre for his pastoral entitled Acante et Cephise.' The clarinet was formally introduced into the orchestra in Vienna in 1767,5 Gluck having contented himself with the use of the chalumeau in Orfeo (1762) and in Alceste (1767).6 The clarinet had already been adopted in military bands in France in 1755, where it very speedily completely replaced the oboe. One of Napoleon Bonaparte's bands is said to have had no less than twenty clarinets. For further information on the clarinet at the beginning of the 19th century, consult the Methods by Ivan Muller and Xavier Lef6bure, and Joseph Froehlich's admirable work on the instruments of the orchestra; and Gottfried Weber's articles in Ersch and Gruber's Encyclopaedia. See also BASSET HORN; BASS CLARINET and PEDAL CLARINET. (K. S.)
End of Article: CLARINET, or CLARIONET (Fr. clarinette; Ger. Clarinette, Klarinett; Ital. clarinetto, chiarinetto)

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.