The average clarinet consists of five parts—the mouthpiece, the barrel or tuning socket, the upper or lefthand joint, lower or right hand joint, and the bell. A thin, flattened, in particular shaped piece of cane called a reed must be inserted in the mouthpiece before the instrument can be played. Different notes are produced as the player moves his palms over metal keys which open and shut air holes in the clarinet's body. An device similar 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.