noun \ˌkler-ə-ˈnet, ˌkla-rə-; ˈkler-ə-nət, ˈkla-rə-\

: a musical instrument that is shaped like a tube and that is played by blowing into the top of the tube through a special mouthpiece

Full Definition of CLARINET

:  a single-reed woodwind instrument having a cylindrical tube with a moderately flared bell and a usual range from D below middle C upward for 312 octaves
clar·i·net·ist or clar·i·net·tist \ˌkler-ə-ˈne-tist, ˌkla-rə-\ noun

Illustration of CLARINET

Origin of CLARINET

French clarinette, probably ultimately from Medieval Latin clarion-, clario
First Known Use: 1733


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Single-reed woodwind instrument. It is a standard member of both orchestras and bands. It has a cylindrical bore and a flared bell, and it is usually made of African blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon, more commonly called renadilla). It has a 3-octave range; its lower register is rich and its top register is brilliant. It developed from the slightly older two-key chalumeau; the German flute maker Johann Christoff Denner (1655–1707) is said to have invented it at the beginning of the 18th century. The B-flat clarinet is the standard instrument today; the A clarinet often replaces it in sharp keys. Clarinets with the fingering system devised by Theobald Boehm are standard in the U.S., Great Britain, and France; those employing an older fingering style are used in Germany and Russia. Clarinets of other sizes include the C clarinet, much used in the Classical period and often preserved in German orchestration; octave clarinets in A, used in large European bands; and sopranino clarinets in F and later E-flat. The B-flat bass clarinet, with its rich timbre, is the next most frequently employed member of the clarinet family. Contrabass clarinets are made in E-flat or in B-flat.


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