The Clarinet

Date of Award

Spring 1969

Document Type




First Reader



The instrument which is now the clarinet originated in Egypt as a cylindrical tube of cane with a single beating reed. A sound generator, formed from a piece of cane was added and inserted into the larger body. Then the provision was made for a capsule of horn, of wood, or of a gourd to enclose the reed. This instrument survived into the 18th Century in North Wales and in Anglesey and was provided with a bell of cow horn at the lower end. It later became made of bone or elder wood and was provided with seven fingerholes. This early instrument was called the chalumeau.

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