Bass Clarinet Essay

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The Bass Clarinet The bass clarinet, invented in the latter half of the 1700s, was originally used only as an orchestra instrument. By the 1920’s, it was employed in bands, often doubling or substituting for other deep-voiced instruments. It is a single-reed woodwind instrument. The range is one octave below that of the b-flat soprano clarinet. Ever since its invention in the late 18th century, the bass clarinet has evolved into the instrument that is used in orchestras and bands. The bass clarinet is made of grenadilla wood or African blackwood and is approximately 4 1/2 feet long. The first bass clarinet was invented in 1793 by Heinrich Gresner of Dresden, Germany. He was a pioneer clarinet maker who was interested in enhancing the range of the clarinet. His first bass clarinet had nine keys and was pitched in B major. Gresner's instrument looked much more like a bassoon than the present day bass clarinet, which has a curved neck and rests on the ground when being played. While many people know what a clarinet looks and sounds like, few people know about the bass clarinet. Early bass clarinets looked markedly different than they do today. With their light brown wooden paperclip shapes, they looked more like bassoons. In 1838, Adolphe Sax un-raveled the clarinet body, and it became the straight instrument we know it as today. Despite the fact that the bass clarinet has been around for a while, the first solo recital was not performed on it until 1955, when Josef Horák marked history by being the first professional player to dedicate an entire recital to the instrument. Bass clarinets are commonly made of plastic or African hardwood with the keys, bell and rods constructed of nickel, silver or other composite metal. The mouthpiece, which holds the reed, is made of plastic, resin, hard rubber or other composite material. The reed is made of cane. Bass
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