During the Late Baroque era, composers similar to Bach and Handel were making new demands on the abilities of their trumpeters, who were often required to play challenging melodic passages in the high, or as it came to be called, clarion sign in. Since the trumpets of this time had no valves or pistons, melodic passages would often require using the highest part of the trumpet's range, where the harmonics were close enough in combination to provide scales of adjacent notes as opposed to the gapped scales or arpeggios of the lower register. The trumpet parts that required this distinctiveness were known by the term clarino and this in turn came to use to the musicians themselves. It is possibly that the term clarinet may stem from the diminutive version of the 'clarion' or 'clarino' and it has been recommended that clarino avid gamers may have helped themselves out by playing especially difficult passages on these newly constructed "mock trumpets". However, the clarinet in A, just a semitone lower, is commonly utilized in orchestral music. The clarinet has proved to be an extremely bendy device, equally at home in the classical repertoire as in concert bands, military bands, marching bands, klezmer, and jazz. It would seem though that its real roots are to be found among one of the vital various names for trumpets used across the Renaissance and Baroque eras. Clarion, clarin and the Italian clarino are all derived from the medieval term claro which noted an early kind of trumpet. This is likely the origin of the Italian clarinetto, itself a diminutive of clarino, and as a result of the European equivalents comparable to clarinette in French or the German Klarinette. According to Johann Gottfried Walther, writing in 1732, the explanation for the name is that "it sounded from remote not unlike a trumpet". The English form clarinet is located as early as 1733, and the now archaic clarionet seems from 1784 until the early years of the twentieth century.

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