About the Clarinet
The clarinet is a good example of the natural branching-out of musical instruments over time. Although it's a woodwind it was first developed in the early 1700s to solve a brass instrument problem: the difficulty for the era's trumpets (which lacked valves) to play the high or "clarion" register. Clarinets went through many changes over the centuries leading to the primary modern variants - the Bb clarinet and bass clarinet. The instrument also transitioned through several woods before settling on the Grenadilla wood used on high-quality clarinets today. As a single-reed instrument the clarinet offers players their choice of mouthpieces and ligatures as well as reeds in natural cane or synthetic materials to achieve their desired tonal qualities.
Due to its popularity and versatility the clarinet is widely produced by many manufacturers. Some brands such as Allora are particularly well-known for their easy-to play student Bb clarinet models. Other nameplates carry a broad selection for musicians of all skill levels including Yamaha whose models run from the beginner to advanced levels. Buffet is considered by most to be the leading name in clarinets.