Virtuoso performers toured Europe and encouraged composers such as Spohr and Weber to write clarinet concertos and chamber works. Instruments persevered to be produced from boxwood, though makers experimented with silver
and brass to boot. Someclarinets were produced from cocuswood, a tropical wood found mostly in Jamaica. French makers began making clarinets out of ebony, a heavy, dark wood from Africa, in the mid 19th century. But regularly the favorite material became African blackwood
, that is corresponding to ebony but less heavy and brittle. Most modern clarinet bodies are made from African blackwood Dalbergia melanoxylon. There are actually numerous trees in the African blackwood genus, corresponding to black cocus, Mozambique ebony, grenadilla, and East African ebony. It is that this heavy, dark wood that gives clarinets their characteristic color. Inexpensive clarinets designed for students may be made out of synthetic resins. Very once in a while, clarinets are manufactured out of silver or brass. The clarinet mouthpiece is made out of a variety of hard rubber called ebonite.