The clarinet is a woodwind instrument that is commonly used in almost every type of music from classical to chamber, to jazz. The clarinet is made up of five parts, which are the mouthpiece, the barrel, the upper joint, the lower joint, and the bell. The reed is held over an opening in the mouthpiece with a ligature, and it vibrates when you blow into the small gap between the reed and the mouthpiece.
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The most popular clarinet for beginners. The B-flat clarinet is the most commonly used clarinet. Most often a beginner clarinetist will start on a plastic body clarinet. Intermediate and professional clarinets are made out of grenadilla wood.
The E-flat clarinet is a really tiny fellow, some people call it a baby clarinet. It is not much bigger than a recorder, and will sound very bright, almost as bright as the piccolo flute.
The bass clarinet is a very nice member of the clarinet family pitched in B-flat, one octave below the popular B-flat clarinet. The instrument is heavy, so there is a floor peg attached to the clarinet body. A well played bass clarinet will boost the overall sound impression in a small ensemble as well as in orchestras and concert bands.
E-flat Alto Clarinet
The E-flat alto clarinet sounds one octave lower than the little E-flat clarient. It is mostly used to replace or complement the 3rd part of a quartet. It’s beautiful sound is perfect in small ensembles like clarinet choirs, especially with the bass clarinet.
Contra Bass Clarinet
The contra bass clarinet is pitched in B-flat and sounds one octave below the bass clarinet.