Considered to be the primary member of the clarinet family is the most common type of clarinet. In the US it is used in schools, concert bands, military bands, Jazz, orchestras and is the most common clarinet used in Movie & TV scores…
What are they made of?
Most clarinets are made for some form of plastic or wood. ABS, is the most popular plastic used.
Wood clarinets have been made for many different types of wood, but the most popular is Grenadilla wood, sometimes referred to as African Blackwood or M’pingo wood. The clarinets are made for the different rings of the tree. The professional clarinets are made from the center ring, the intermediate are made from the next ring and the student wood are made from the outer rings. The Buffet company has made an exclusive material called Greenline that is a combination of Grenadilla wood, epoxy and carbon fiber. But they only know how they are put together, these are very good clarinets and so not change with temperatures or moister like standard wood clarinets.
They have been made from Acrylic, Hard Rubber & Metal, these materials are not used in today’s market.
Who named the clarinet? The word clarinet may have entered the English language via the French clarinette (the feminine diminutive of Old French clarin or clarion), or from Provencal clarin, “oboe”. It is ultimately from the Latin root clarus (“clear”).
It would seem, however, that its real roots are to be found among some of the various names for trumpets used around the Renaissance and Baroque eras. Clarion, clarin, and the Italian clarino are all derived from the medieval term claro, which referred to an early form of trumpet. This is probably the origin of the Italian clarinetto, itself a diminutive of clarino, and consequently of the European equivalents such as clarinette in French or the German Klarinette. According to Jojhann Gottfried Walther, writing in 1732, the reason for the name is that “it sounded from far off not unlike a trumpet”. The English form clarinet is found as early as 1733, and the now-archaic clarionet appears from 1784 until the early years of the 20th century.
A clarinet: Is used with the B-Flat in the orchestra.
Standard orchestral instrument used alongside the B♭ soprano. Because the strings play in keys that makes the B-Flat clarinet work very hard and use a lot of cross fingerings…. Playing the A clarinet for EXAMPLE: When the B-Flat clarinet has 7 sharps (the key of C-Sharp) the A clarinet is in the key of C (No sharps or flats) much easier…
The A clarinet has a darker tone and was used by the first 2 clarinetist in the John Philip Sousa band because they loved the sound… they simply transposed the music in their heads.. (Not an easy task by the way!)
It is required primarily in older, European classical music. Every serious classical clarinetist will own both a B♭ and an A clarinet, and cases holding both instruments are common. The A clarinet is not commonly used in band music.