Clarinet family

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The clarinet family is a musical instrument family including the well-known B♭ clarinet, the slightly less familiar E♭, A, and bass clarinets, and other clarinets.

Clarinets other than the standard B♭ and A clarinets are sometimes known as harmony clarinets. However, there are many differently-pitched clarinet types, some of which are very rare. They may be grouped into sub-families, but grouping and terminology vary; the list below reflects popular usage and compares it with systems advocated by a few influential authors. See separate articles for additional details.

  • Piccolo clarinet — Very rare. Also known as octave clarinet or Bb sopranino clarinet. Pitched an octave higher than the B♭ clarinet.
    • A♭ piccolo clarinet.
      • Rendall uses the term octave clarinet and includes also obsolete instruments in C, B♭, and G.F. Geoffrey Rendall. The Clarinet. Third Edition. London: Ernest Benn Limited, 1971, pp. 3-4.
      • Shackleton lists also obsolete instruments in C, B♭, and A.Nicholas Shackleton. "Clarinet", Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy (accessed 21 February 2006), (subscription access).
  • Soprano clarinet — The most familiar type of clarinet.
    • E♭ clarinet|Eb sopranino clarinet — Fairly common in America and western Europe; less common in eastern Europe.
    • D clarinet — Rare in America and western Europe.
      • Rendall......
      • ...

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