Clarinet in A

Buffet, Crampon & Cie. French

Not on view

The instrument shows the Boehm system clarinet in its early and largely original setup, which was developed between 1839 and 1844 by the clarinetist Hyacinthe Eléonore Klosé and the manufacturer Auguste Buffet jeune in Paris.The Buffet family originated from La Couture, which was a city focussing on instrument making. The brothers Denis (born La Couture 28 July 1783; Buffet-Auger) and Louis August (born La Couture, 6 Aug 1789; died Anet, 30 Sept 1864; Buffet jeune) had independent workshops in Paris. In 1825 Denis Buffet set up his workshop in Paris, his brother did so in 1830. Denis’ son Jean-Louis (born La Couture, 18 July 1813; died Paris, 17 April 1865) gradually took over the business after 1830. After 1844 it took the name Buffet Crampon. Buffet-Crampon were awarded bronze medals at the Paris Expositions of 1844 and 1849. The firm’s advertising for 1845 featured the new ring-keyed clarinets (later known as Boehm clarinets), as well as more usual 13-, 14- and 15-keyed clarinets, and a selection of Boehm flutes and piccolos. It is clear that Buffet-Crampon must have had some sort of commercial arrangement with his uncle’s firm for, at that time, the Boehm clarinet was still the patent-protected property of Louis-Auguste Buffet. (Anthony Béthune and William McBride, "Buffet-Crampon", in: Grove Music Online.)

Technical description:
Stained boxwood with brass ferrules and keywork. Four pieces: mouthpiece, upper section with integral barrel, lower section, bell. Original named ebony mouthpiece marked for a ligature. Speaker liner projects almost to the centre of the bore. All toneholes under rings lined with brass. L4 levers on a single pivot. 17 keys, 6 rings.Playing accessories: one reed and a brass ligature. Upper and lower section cannot be separated.

Overall size: 701
Bore: 14.6; f-hole 15.1
Conical part: 200


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.
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.
(Heike Fricke, 2014)

Clarinet in A, Buffet, Crampon & Cie. (founded 1859), Boxwood, brass with thin gold wash, French

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