Clarinet in B-flat

Thomas Prowse British

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 684

This instrument, with only six keys, is typical of the clarinet at the end of the eighteenth century. Clarinets like this played best in keys close to the one in which the instrument was built. Because playing in distant tonalities required awkward and often out-of-tune fingerings, players needed up to six separate clarinets to be able to perform in all keys.

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