The clarinet is a woodwind instrument dating back to the early 1700s. Its sound is produced when the player blows through an opening between the reed and the mouthplace, causing the reed to vibrate.

The clarinet family has a number of different sizes of instruments, from the little sopranino all the way down to the big contrabass clarinet. The larger the instrument, the lower in pitch are the tones it is able to produce. Smaller instruments can produce higher pitches. The B-flat soprano clarinet is the one that most students commonly start with in the school band.

Although the clarinet is important in classical music, it is also right at home in many types of folk music. Jazz music has always had a special place for the clarinet from the days of the Dixieland bands in the early 1900s.

Push play to hear the sound of the clarinet.

To hear more examples of all the instruments, check out WHOOs MAKING MUSIC in the App Store!

© Luke Bartolomeo 2012