The Clarinet

WVHS Concerto Project

About the Clarinet

  • The roots of the modern clarinet can be found during the Renaissance and Baroque eras, but the ancestory dates all the way back to single-reed instruments from Ancient Greece.
  • The earliest clarinets were related to the recorder.
  • Mozart liked the clarinet because he believed it most represented the human voice.
  • Fingerings on the clarinet were not originally standardized, and today there exist three separate types of fingering systems - the Albert, Boem and Oehler.
  • Clarinets come in many different sizes and keys. Bb soprano is most commonly used in band, along with Bb bass clarinet, and Eb soprano(sopranino). Clarinet in A was common in the classical era, and is still often used in orchestral music.
  • Clarinet is a very important voice in all classical music with winds, as well as jazz.


Boxwood clarinet from 1760



Boehm clarinet

Some Great Performers

Sabine Meyer Martin Fröst Sharon Kam

John Bruce Yeh Stephen Williamson J. Lawrie Bloom

Some Great Concertos

The Clarinet - Google Slides