Orchestration: Clarinets

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Justin P. Tokke
This page is a part of the Orchestration Masterclass. For other related articles, see Category:Orchestration masterclass
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These are the clarinets.

Clarinet in B-flat

Clarinet in A

Clarinet in E-flat

Clarinet in D

Bass Clarinet

Other Clarinets

Clarinet in C

Alto Clarinet

Basset Horn

Contrabass Clarinet

This is the true bass of the clarinet family. It is a full octave below the bass clarinet and is often used in bands to thicken the bass of the wind section. It is occasionally seen in the orchestra as a specialty instrument, however, it is still specialty and is not always available.

The instrument, unlike the other clarinets, is made almost completely of metal. It resembles the contrabassoon where its body folds in on itself to make it's massive tube length accessible.

Contralto Clarinet

This clarinet is an octave below the alto clarinet and often used in bands as a thickener to the bass of the wind section. It is rare otherwise though. It is often swapped interchangeably with the contrabass clarinet.

Piccolo Clarinet in A-flat

This is the rarest clarinet of all and is only seen in extremely rare circumstances, and always in bands. It has a harsh tone and is very difficult to keep in tune. Do not write for it.

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