soprano clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet
The soprano clarinet is by far the most common type of clarinet in the clarinet consort. It has a single-red mouthpiece, a straight, slightly conical tube or bore, and a "bell-shaped" bottom. Clarinets are descendants of the chalumeau. The early models c.1700 were played with reeds placed up against the upper lip, with the reeds tied to the mouthpiece with twine. Today, ligatures are used to hold the reed to the mouthpiece with the reed against the bottom lip. The modern clarinet has 18 holes, six of which are covered by fingers and the remainder by keys. Because the clarinets have a smooth, even sound, their sound makes them compatible with most orchestral instruments. They can also play in a great many different moods and styles, play very loud or very soft, and they have the largest range of notes of any instrument of the band or orchestra. Thus, the clarinet is the most important woodwind in the band or orchestra.
clarinet consort small
Clarinet Consort shown with low
Eb Contrabass Clarinet.
(click to enlarge)

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