bass clarinet
The bass clarinet is part of the clarinet consort. Like the more common soprano clarinet, it is usually pitched in B♭ but it plays notes an octave below the soprano B♭clarinet. The bass clarinet has been regularly used in scoring for orchestra and concert band since the late 19th century, becoming more common during the middle and latter part of the 20th century. In recent years, the bass clarinet has seen a growing repertoire of solo literature including compositions for the instrument alone, or accompanied by piano. It is also used in clarinet choirs, marching bands, and in film scoring, and has played a minor, but persistent, role in jazz. A bass clarinet is not always called for in orchestra music, but is almost always called for in concert band music.

The bass clarinet has an appealing, rich, earthy tone quite distinct from other instruments in its range, drawing on and enhancing the qualities of the lower range of the soprano and alto instrument.

clarinet consort small
Clarinet Consort shown with low
Eb Contrabass Clarinet.
(click to enlarge)
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