Italian: clarinetto basso, clarone
French: clarinette basse
As is evident from the name, the bass clarinet is the bass instrument of the clarinet family.
It has been used to provide the bass voice in the orchestra woodwind section since the middle of the 19th century, a role it shares with the bassoon. The bass clarinet is appreciated for its expressive timbre, which is often poetically described as ”dark velvet”. Generally one bass clarinet is used in the orchestra, only rarely are two found.
The bass clarinet is not only an established member of the full orchestra but also of clarinet orchestras and military bands. In addition, it is now also found in chamber music ensembles.
Aerophone, single-reed instrument, woodwind
Tube: wood (rosewood, grenadilla) or silver-plated metal; keywork: nickel silver, silver; bell: brass
Beak-shaped mouthpiece with a single reed, larger than the clarinet’s
Mainly cylindrical, crook between the mouthpiece and the body; angled bell
Approx. 132 cm
Medium, inner diameter roughly twice as large as the clarinet’s
Boehm or Oehler mechanism (as on the clarinet)
Funnel-shaped, angled upward; rim diameter 13 cm
For resting the instrument on the floor