Clarinet in B♭
The Clarinet in B♭ is a simple beating reed wind instrument, on its own mouthpiece. The company ‘Danzi’ is a clarinet manufacturer. It belongs to the woodwinds family. Its sound is sweet, penetrating, and pleasant.
Origin of the name
The word ‘clarinet’ appeared for the first time in 1732, in Musicalisches Lexicon by Johann Gottfried Walther, who states: ‘when heard from afar, it rather sounds like a trumpet’. This explains the name, that is derived from clarion, an instrument in the trumpet family.
The clarinet is a transposing instrument. It means that, when it reads a DO, it produces a real sound that does not correspond to a DO; instead, it produces another note (that is the note in which the instrument is ‘cut’). Especially, the clarinet reads a do as a B♭, so that it transports it in a tenor key (one note below, acoustically, nine sounds below).
Use of Clarinet
Thanks to its great expressive and technical qualities, the clarinet can be found in several musical genres. Classical music uses it widely. It is very common in chamber music, in quartets and quintets, and in clarinets only formations, called ‘choirs’. It is also used in orchestras (where it has been present since the Eighteenth century thanks to Mozart) as a support to string instruments. Its entrance in symphonic orchestras, though, has happened quite late.
The timbre of clarinet is mellow and bold.
The clarinet in B♭ is a versatile instrument, its capabilities are appreciated in orchestras, bands, jazz bands. It is the prince of instruments in jazz music, also thanks to gifted musicians such as Benny Goodman.
Enjoy listening to Benny Goodman! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prmf5tDgf3k