- a woodwind instrument in the form of a cylindrical tube with a single reed attached to its mouthpiece.
Origin of clarinet
Examples from the Web for clarinet
Does he play something like our violin or clarinet or oboe, or what?George Loves Gistla
I can sing it, and if I had my clarinet here I could play it.Cobb's Bill-of-Fare
Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb
There is a choral moment from the English horn, the 131 bassoons, and a clarinet.Contemporary American Composers
Three Figures, which play the Organ and Clarinet in concert.
They have also a kind of clarinet, three or four different sorts of trumpets, and a stringed instrument not unlike a violoncello.
- a keyed woodwind instrument with a cylindrical bore and a single reed. It is a transposing instrument, most commonly pitched in A or B flatObsolete name: clarionet (ˌklærɪəˈnɛt)
- an orchestral musician who plays the clarinet
Word Origin and History for clarinet
1768, from French clarinette (18c.), diminutive of clarine "little bell" (16c.), noun use of fem. of adjective clarin (which also was used as a noun, "trumpet, clarion"), from clair, cler (see clear (adj.)). Alternative form clarionet is attested from 1784.
The instrument, a modification of the medieval shawm, said to have been invented c.1700 by J.C. Denner of Nuremberg, Germany. A recognized orchestral instrument from c.1775. Ease of playing increased greatly with a design improvement from 1843 based on Boehm's flute.
After the hautboy came the clarinet. This instrument astonished every beholder, not so much, perhaps, on account of its sound, as its machinery. One that could manage the keys of a clarinet, forty five years ago, so as to play a tune, was one of the wonders of the age. Children of all ages would crowd around the performer, and wonder and admire when the keys were moved. [Nathaniel D. Gould, "Church Music in America," Boston, 1853]
German Clarinet, Swedish klarinett, Italian clarinetto, etc. all are from French. Related: Clarinettist.