Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/373

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CLARI.
361
CLARINET.

organ; a Requiem for nine voices, strings and organ; a Mass di Cappella for 4 voices; some Psalms for Complins arranged for two choruses. Novello's 'Fitzwilliam music' contains no less than 23 compositions of Clari's from Masses and the Stabat Mater, which for science, dignity, and sweetness, fully bear out his reputation.

The exact date of his death is unknown, but it was probably about 1745.

[ E. H. P. ]

CLARINET or CLARIONET (Fr. Clarinette, Ger. Klarinette, Ital. Clarinetto). An instrument of 4-foot tone, with a single reed and smooth quality, commonly said to have been invented about the year 1690, by Johann Christopher Denner, at Nuremberg. Mr. W. Chappell is however of opinion that he can trace the instrument back to mediæval times as the shawm, schalm, or schalmuse (Hist, of Music, i. 264).

The present name, in both forms, is evidently a diminutive of Clarino, the Italian for trumpet, and Clarion the English equivalent, to which its tone has some similarity.

Since its first invention it has been successively improved by Stadler of Vienna, Iwan Muller, Klosé, and others. The last-named musician (1843) completely reorganised the fingering of the instrument, on the system commonly called after Boehm, which is also applied to the flute, oboe, and bassoon. A general description of the older and more usual form will be given. It may however be remarked here, that Boehm or Klosé's fingering is hardly so well adapted to this as to the octave scaled instruments. It certainly removes some difficulties, but at the expense of greatly increased complication of mechanism, and liability to get out of order.

The clarinet consists essentially of a mouth-piece furnished with a single beating reed, a cylindrical tube, terminating in a bell, and eighteen openings in the side, half closed by the fingers, and half by keys. The fundamental scale comprises nineteen semitones, from E in the bass stave. { \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 2/4 \clef bass e4 \clef treble bes' } These are produced by removal of the eight fingers and the thumb of the left hand successively from nine open holes, and by the lifting of nine closed keys. The lowest note is emitted through the bell; the treble G through a hole at the back of the tube, peculiar to this instrument. This register[1] is termed Chalumeau, and is of a somewhat different quality from the higher notes. [App. p.591 "Abbreviations, i. 4 a, and to Chalumeau, for examples of the use of the term."] The latter are obtained by a contrivance which forms the chief initial difficulty in learning the instrument, but has the advantage of giving it a very extended compass. The lever of the B♭ key named above ends close to the back thumb-hole, and answers a double purpose. In conjunction with the A♮ key it produces its own open note, but when raised by the point of the left thumb, while the ball of the same closes the back hole, it serves to determine a node within the tube, and raises the pitch by an interval of a twelfth. If all the side holes be now closed by the fingers, the note issuing by the bell is B♮, in the treble stave, and by successive removal of fingers or opening of keys fifteen more semitones are obtained, reaching to { \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 1/4 cis'''4 } ; the thumb being constantly kept at its double duty of closing the G hole and opening the B♭ key. With the high C♯, what may be termed the natural scale of the instrument ends, although a whole octave more of notes may be got by cross-fingerings, depending considerably on the individual skill of the player. It is usually understood that the extreme note obtainable is C♮ or C♯ in altissimo, an 8ve above that just given. But it is most undesirable to write for the instrument above the intermediate G, and in piano passages above C. { \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 2/4 g'''4^\markup { \halign #-2 and } c''' } We thus have in all three octaves and a sixth, of which the lower three octaves are perfectly available for legitimate use, and which it will be presently shown are considerably extended by the employment of several instruments in different keys.

The mouthpiece is a conical stopper, flattened on one side to form the table for the reed, and thinned to a chisel edge on the other for convenience to the lips. The cylindrical bore passes about two-thirds up the inside, and there terminates in a hemispherical end. From this bore a lateral orifice is cut into the table, about an inch long and half as wide, which is closed in playing by the thin end of the reed. The table on which the reed lies, instead of being flat, is purposely curved backwards towards the point, so as to leave a gap or slit about the thickness of a sixpence between the end of the mouthpiece and the point of the reed. It is on the vibration of the reed against this curved table that the sound of the instrument depends. The curve of the table is of considerable importance. [See Mouthpiece.] The reed itself is a thin flat slip cut from a kind of tall grass (arundo sativa), commonly, though incorrectly, termed 'cane.' [See Reed.] It is flattened on one side, and thinned on the other to a feather-edge. The older players secured this to the table of the mouthpiece by a waxed cord, but a double metallic band with two small screws, termed a ligature, is now employed. The reed was originally turned upwards, so as to rest against the upper lip; but this necessitated the holding of the instrument at a large ungraceful angle from the body, and caused it to bear against a weaker mass of muscles than is the case when it is directed downwards. In England, France, and Belgium it is always held in the latter position.

The compass given above is that of an instrument in C, which sounds corresponding notes to the violin, descending three semitones below 'fiddle G.' But the C clarinet is not very extensively used in the orchestra or military bands. The latter employ an instrument in B♭, sounding two semitones below its written position, and consequently standing in the key of two flats. For the acuter notes they use a smaller clarinet

  1. Berlioz rather unnecessarily makes four registers, treating Chalumeau as the second.