(Source: Leonardo Musical Site)
History and use of the clarinet
A little history ...
The origin of the clarinet is somewhat obscure. Its most direct ancestor is the torch of the Middle Ages, instrument overcame a small tube which is fixed a beating reed. The clarinet as such would have been created for the first time in Nuremberg in 1690 by a luthier named Jean-Christophe Denner.
Early clarinets did not possess at the outset that very few keys, which limited technical possibilities and above required the possession of several clarinets, clarinet almost a dial tone !
Today, the clarinet features thirteen keys and uses the so-called system BOEHM, named after its inventor who had the idea of joining a moving rod by a ring system, allowing both a natural spacing of holes compared to the hand, and fingering facilities.
Note also that the evolution of the clarinet is not completely uniform because the two systems coexist, giving two models of clarinet slightly different: the so-called "German" and the so-called "French". The French system is currently the most widespread.
The use of the clarinet ...
Anyone who has ever heard the full and warm sound of a clarinet may perhaps wonder at the origin of the word "clarinet". The word "clarinet" is indeed a derivative of "Clarino" which was ... a small trumpet! But we know that the early clarinets were "small" clarinets and the people of this era seem to have been impressed by the shrill, sharp, shrill perhaps this new instrument. Thus the first concerto dedicated to him, namely MOLTER concertos are written for clarinet in D, and more in the range of the instrument most acute.
These brilliant MOLTER concertos are perhaps the only plays baroque known for the clarinet, for very soon the aspirations of the era classic should arise, for example, with concertos by Johann Stamitz, Carl Stamitz, Mercader ... There already is, passages in the writings of the clarinet although it is often encompassed in an arpeggio or a range , the passages are still sung almost exclusively reserved to the highs.
It was not until Mozart to the full extent of the clarinet is highlighted. It was he who really gave the clarinet its pedigree. It was indeed excited about this instrument as soon as he heard for the first time, as evidenced by a letter written to his father ("Father, you can not imagine the sound of the clarinet ...") but also as evidenced by the number (and quality too ...) that he will dedicate works: the most famous concerto K622 course, but the quintet with strings, the trio said "bowling trio" with viola and piano, a large number of entertainment for three basset horns ( see the clarinet family ), and many works of chamber music for winds, including the clarinet (The Great Partita for 13 wind instruments, the octets, quintets etc. ...).
The Golden Age, but the clarinet is undoubtedly the Romantic period . It sees it as the ideal confidant for the emotions of the soul, its dark timbre is perfectly suitable for domestic dramas of composers, but knowing also demonstrate the vehemence when necessary. SCHUMANN, BRAHMS great room and wrote sonatas for her . Carl Maria von Weber in a more extrovert kind, attracted by possible technical prowess, it left an impressive number of concertos, duets, quintets etc. ... The clarinet is then part of the symphony orchestra and there is an important and very personal. BERLIOZ noted for example that the clarinet is the only instrument able to swell the sound and make it disappear into infinity.
It was then that, in parallel to develop the first military bands that would later become the orchestras of harmony (orchestras composed solely of wind and percussion). Its importance is central and that the clarinet is supposed to replace the violins. The technological advances of the instrument at the beginning of the twentieth century opens for clarinet new horizons. There is no hesitation to give solos and features difficult, sometimes very difficult as evidenced by the works of Ravel (Daphnis and Chloe, for example). We also discover the whole family of the clarinet. The clarinet for his side now drilling into the upper sometimes melancholy in the grave, and bass clarinet alongside his cavernous and mysterious bring new colors to perfectly exploited the orchestra Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky. In Europe the TSE is the king of instruments: SMETANA, BORODIN, BARTOK use it copiously.
Today, finally, contemporary composers have exploded technical possibilities of the instrument, the performer, pushing its limits. In the first grades, grades with extreme sounds almost inaudible, followed by sounds so powerful it ears and then in the range , with a systematic and at heights of more high shrill; in the technique then, with features including large intervals tempi always higher, and finally the use of new effects (slap, flatterzunge, quarter tone, vibrato, ...).
The clarinet is ubiquitous today in all styles of music ( jazz , classical, contemporary, pop, folk), and if one believes Pierre Boulez, an instrument with a bright future.
The family of clarinets ...
From highest to lowest:
Last update : 17/03/2009 09:08
Category : - Instruments-Woods
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