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Conpenent Of The Clarinet

Conpenent Of The Clarinet


If you learn clarinet, it's important to know about and understand all of the clarinet parts. There may come a time when the clarinetist will want to upgrade a certain part of the clarinet to improve the sound. It is important to understand the function of that clarinet part. Similarly, a certain clarinet part may break and the clarinetist will need to understand the specific part that broke. It is also important to understand how to keep each clarinet part in good condition to keep the clarinet looking clean and professional. 


The mouthpiece is the piece at the top of the clarinet musical instrument. The mouthpiece, along with the ligature, holds the clarinet reed in place. The mouthpiece is a very important part of the clarinet because it forms the sound that will be produced.

The most common clarinet mouthpieces are made out of hard rubber. Some mouthpieces are also made out of glass and wood. Glass mouthpieces are best used for jazz music and outdoor playing because projection is necessary. Wood mouthpieces produce a warm sound but do not have the best projection. Wood mouthpieces are very rare.

Purchasing a new, high-quality mouthpiece is a worthwhile investment for every clarinetist. The mouthpiece plays a huge role in producing a beautiful, rich, full, and in tune sound. 


The barrel connects the mouthpiece and the top joint. The barrel shapes and directs the sound through the instrument. The barrel also improves intonation.

The barrel plays a significant role in producing a quality sound. The barrel greatly improves pitch, as well as makes the sound more bright, clear, and full.

The interior of the barrel is called a taper. There are four types of tapers: straight, standard, reverse, and double. A straight taper is the same size on both ends. A standard taper is slightly smaller at the top. A reverse taper is slightly smaller at the bottom. A double taper is where the center of the barrel is smaller than on the ends. The double taper is more uncommon. The taper affects the sound that is being produced.

When choosing a barrel, listen for resonance, focus, and intonation. The barrel should help the sound resonate throughout all three of the registers. If the sound produces overtones and undertones, the sound is very resonant.

Because of this, it's important to find a barrel that will make it easier for the clarinetist to control the focus of the sound. The barrel plays a huge role in clarinet intonation. The barrel should help make intonation more accurate.

It is common for the metal clarinet to be flat in the lower registers and sharp in the higher registers. The barrel acts as a mediator, correcting intonation problems in each register.

The barrel should be swabbed out after every time the clarinet is played. Since the barrel is close to the mouthpiece, a lot of condensation will build up in the barrel.

Barrel Rings

Barrel rings are the thin strips of metal around the diameter of the barrel. The barrel rings constrict the ends of the barrel. This prevents the barrel from splitting into two pieces due to the pressure of the tenon corks.

Tenon corks inside the barrel release extreme outward force that is strong enough to split the barrel in half if the barrel rings are loose or missing.

Top Joint

The top joint of the clarinet is the top half of the clarinet's body. The left hand will play all on all of the tone holes on the top joint. The top and bottom joints should be swabbed out after each time the clarinet is played.

Condensation will get stuck underneath the keys. If not cleaned out properly, mold will start to grow in the tone holes and underneath the keypads.

Register Key

The register key is located on the top joint. The register key is paddle-shaped. When the register key is depressed, the pitches are raised to an octave higher.

Bottom Joint

The bottom joint of the clarinet is the bottom half of the clarinet's body. The right hand will play on all of the tone holes and keys on the bottom joint.

Bridge Key

The bridge key is a mechanism that connects the top joint and the bottom joint. The bridge key must be aligned properly to have the instrument play properly. The bridge key is very fragile, so be sure to assemble the clarinet very carefully.


The bell of the clarinet is the very bottom piece of the clarinet. The bell is responsible for shaping the sound and tone of the notes with the right hand depressed in each register. Bells can come in different materials and shapes to produce different colors of sound.

Cork Tenons

Every part of the clarinet is held together by cork tenons. The cork tenons ensure that each part is fastened tightly together so there are no air leaks. Cork tenons react quickly to temperature and humidity changes. If the cork makes it difficult to attach the parts, the cork may be dried out.

Apply a small amount of cork grease to the cork. Cork grease gives the cork moisture and will make assembling the clarinet much easier. It is normal for corks to wear out over time. If the cork begins to wear out or fall off, take it to a music store with a specialist who can replace the corks.


The keys on the clarinet change the pitch when opened and closed. The keys must be completely covered by the fingers to produce the correct sound.

A good way to check if your fingers are covering the keys all the way is to press all of your fingers down on the tone holes. Then, lift them off of the keys and look at your finger pads. If there are complete circles on the pads of your fingers, you are covering the keys completely.

As clarinetists advance, they develop muscle memory skills for where each key is on the clarinet. Beginner clarinetists will struggle with playing fast and technical passages or pieces because their muscle memory skills are not developed yet.

The clarinet keys are small and fragile. When assembling and handling the clarinet, the clarinetist must be careful to not bend or break the keys.

Key Pads

Some keys have pads that cover the tone hones. These keypads are made out of leather, cork, or synthetic material. After a certain period, the pads will fall off due to wear-and-tear. When the pads do fall off, I recommend taking it to a music store with a specialist who can replace the pads.


A ligature is an accessory that holds the reed in place on the mouthpiece. The ligature also helps in producing a quality sound, as long as it's paired with a compatible reed and mouthpiece.

The main musical difference between ligatures is how they respond to the blowing pressure and the tone color they produce. Different materials will vibrate differently to produce unique responses and tone colors.

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