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The Clarinet Has A Birthday January 14, 1690

Clarinet
Getty Images, photo by Planet News Archive

The first true reed instrument was invented on January 14, 1690 by Johann Christoph Denner in Nuremburg, Germany. It was a new instrument in its time called the clarinet. It evolved from an earlier instrument called the chalumeau, but by adding two keys it increased the instruments range. Mozart was the first composer to use a clarinet in a symphony. 

The clarinet in 1690 looked a lot different than today’s model because it only had two keys and later three, but it was an improvement over the chalumeau and soon it was heard in orchestras everywhere. The clarinet may get  its name from ‘clarini,’ which was the new instrument orchestras were talking about because of the difficult runs and jumps it could do that would be impossible on a trumpet.

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