Stansell’s Bandsmen #13: The Clarionet

The 13th in a series on some of the roles of British army bandsmen as illustrated by Frederick Stansell c.1900 in the book “Bands of the British Army” by W.J. Gordon.

No.13: Clarionet (Clarinet)- The Suffolk Regiment

In the modern infantry band there is generally but one oboe, the rest of the wood being a piccolo, two bassoons and a dozen or so clarionets. The clarionet, or clarinet, is a substitute for the ancient brass clarion and was so named by (Johann) Denner, in 1690, who is often given the credit of its invention. Since his time it has been greatly improved and is now the best of the wood instruments. It is of considerable compass owing to its having what are known as two registers with an interval of a twelfth between them, and the lower register is called the chalumeau; in fact, Denner developed it out of the old chalumeau which we read of as the shawm. Unlike the bassoon it has but one reed, which is really a reed, being a slip from Arundo Sativa. In a band, there are generally two E flat clarionets, two bass ones in B flat and perhaps ten an octave higher.”