This instrument, sometimes known as the E-flat Contrabass, is pitched an octave below the E-flat Alto. It possesses a warm and rich sound. It is said to be very similar in response and ease of playing to the Bass Clarinet, and in fact some players think of it as just an over-sized Bass Clarinet.
Here we have another common band instrument that is frequently misused. It is pitched one octave below the standard B-flat Clarinet. Historically Bass Clarinets in both C and A have existed, but both are now extinct (Mahler and Wagner used the A Bass extensively). Continue reading “Bass Clarinet”
The Alto Clarinet is a larger clarinet in E-flat pitched a major sixth below the written notes. Traditionally, this has been the instrument used in the band. However, the Alto Clarinet has had a troubled life in the band world. As early as the 1950s, band directors were calling for its removal. Continue reading “E-flat Alto Clarinet”
The Basset Horn is a curious member of the clarinet family. Traditionally, it is a small bore (roughly equal to the bore size of the B-flat and A Clarinets) instrument pitched in F (a fifth lower than written). Again, traditionally, the Basset Horn was to be played by B-flat/A Clarinetists with the same mouthpiece used on those instruments. However, in practicality, most modern instruments do not conform to this ideal. Continue reading “Basset Horn or F Alto Clarinet”