The clarinet is a woodwind device played with a single reed. Clarinets are available in a variety of sizes, with choice pitch ranges. Though there are greater than a dozen different modern clarinet types, the most common ones utilized in orchestras and bands are the B flat and A clarinets. The bass clarinet, which is much bigger than the accepted and has an upwardly curved bell, is also generally used in modern bands and orchestras. The established clarinet contains five parts—the mouthpiece, the barrel or tuning socket, the higher or lefthand joint, lower or right hand joint, and the bell. A thin, flattened, principally shaped piece of cane called a reed must be inserted in the mouthpiece before the device can be played. Different notes are produced as the player moves his palms over metal keys which open and close air holes in the clarinet's body. An tool akin to the clarinet—a cylindrical cane tube played with a cane reed—was in use in Egypt as early as 3000 b. c. Instruments of this kind were used across the Near East into modern times, and other clarinet prototypes were played in Spain, parts of Eastern Europe, and in Sardinia. A folk tool present in Wales across the eighteenth century, called the hompipe or pibgorn, was very comparable to Greek and Middle Eastern cane single reed units, but it was made from bone or of elder wood.
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