Clarinet in B-flat

Buffet, Crampon & Cie. French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 684

Almost any material that can be fashioned into a suitable form has been used to make instruments. Some choices are guided by acoustic or technical parameters, while others are driven by aesthetic considerations. The traditional Chinese classification system (Bayan) for musical instruments is based on the materials used in their construction. In the twentieth century, a host of new synthetic materials was used to construct both acoustic and electric instruments. This clarinet is made of transparent plastic with copper-plated keys and mounts.

The French firm of woodwind instrument makers goes back to 1825. In 1970 Buffet-Crampon were bought by the American group, Tolchin Instruments Inc. In 1975 they released the ‘RC’ range of clarinets, and Hugo Schreiber became vice-president of the company. During 1981 the Tolchin Group was bought by Boosey & Hawkes, and seven years later, Michael Winter and Paul Baronnat took over management of Buffet-Crampon in France. (Anthony Béthune, William McBride, "Buffet-Crampon", in: Grove Music Online).

Overall size: 670
Bore: c-hole 14.6; f-hole 15.0
Conical part: 180
Technical description: Transparent plastic with copper-coloured German silver ferrules and keywork. Five pieces: mouthpiece, barrel, upper section, lower section, bell. Original mouthpiece belongs to the instrument. Speaker liner projects almost into the centre of the bore. Straight thumb rest. 17 keys, 6 rings.

L0:   T + ring F4/C♮6; speaker.
L1:   T + ring F♯4; throat A♮; throat A♭.
L2:   T + E♭4/ B♭5 corresponding ring.
L3:   T; cross E♭4/ B♭5.
L4:   C♯4/G♯5; F3/C♮5; E3/B♮4; F♯3/C♯5; G♯3/E♭5.
R1:   T + ring B♭3/F♮5 via correspondence; side E♭4/ B♭5; side F♯4/C♯6; trills 1-2.
R2:   T + ring B♮3/F♯5 via correspondence.
R3:   T + ring B♮3/F♯5 via correspondence; cross B♮3/F♯5.
R4:   G♯3/E♭5; E3/B♮4; F3/C♮5; F♯3/C♯5.

Keyhead type: modern
Keymount type: screwed-in pillars
Inscribed on all pieces except for lower section: lyre / "BUFFET / Crampon & Cie / À PARIS" / monogram BC. On lower section: "Made in W.-Germany / 397335"
Also B 12 and on mouthpiece, left and right to the reed "F1A", "12OG".
Playing accessories: one reed, copper coloured ligature and reed-cap.
(Heike Fricke, 2014)

Clarinet in B-flat, Buffet, Crampon & Cie. (founded 1859) (mouthpiece), Plastic, metal, French

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