music history - Music History The World of the Baroque...

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Music History The World of the Baroque Clarinet The clarinet evolved from the chalumeau, which is similar to a recorder but has a single reed that was carved out of the cane for the mouthpiece and reed to stay attached. It was the workings of Johann Christoph Denner and his son Jacob, around the years 1690 to 1710, when the clarinet was invented. It is not completely accurate as to which year is the exact year to confirm the year in which the Denner’s developed the clarinet, but most believe it was at leasy by 1710. With the help of a family friend, J.G.Doppelmayr, the word Clarinette would first be used in his book Historische Nachricht von der Nürnbergischen Mathematicis und Künstlern in 1730. For some time, the words Clarinette and chalumeau were interchangeable. It would take some time for the clarinet to be popular and proven that it was a different instrument than the chalumeau. J.C. Denner made many changes from the chalumeau to make the clarinet an even better work of art. He made the instrument have a separate mouthpiece, added keys, developed a bell, and it was the first time that the third and fifth harmonics were available. With his construction, the sound developed was very unique for something of that caliber; the bell is responsible for the rich tone and the overtones that are present. The new clarinet was in three sections that fit together. The material used in each section was mainly boxwood. Over time the wood changed color to a darker, richer color. Also, to reach the rich look, the wood would sometimes be burned or heated for a darker color. In order to fit the sections together sometimes ivory, bone, or waxed string would be used on the tips of the pieces to be a snug fit so no air could escape. Unlike modern clarinets, the keys had felt as pads instead of cork or leather.
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course MUSC 321 taught by Professor Waters during the Winter '07 term at Ohio Northern University.

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music history - Music History The World of the Baroque...

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