Thursday, March 10, 2016

I Made A Clarinet...

Since this pic was taken I've added a bell.
I made a clarinet.

Really it's started out a recorder with a clarinet mouthpiece, but it sounds a lot like a B-flat clarinet. In fact, I was going to make a recorder, but by using the clarinet mouthpiece I saved a lot of trouble getting the fipple (whistle mouthpiece) right. The clarinet mouthpiece and reeds bumped the construction cost from about $5 to $40.

Then it sort of went from being a modified recorder back to being a (keyless) clarinet, as I took a heat gun to a section of pipe to make a bell and added it to the body. Since the body itself is nothing more than a straight piece of CPVC and the mouthpiece and bell are easily transferred, I'm experimenting with different fingering arrangements.

Well... really they're pretty much just a CPVC plumbing pipe cut to lengths, with finger holes drilled in them, but they sound OK. In fact, they sound a lot better than I thought they would. 

After making it, I discovered that the clarinet reed/recorder fingering combination is sometimes called a saxinet.

In making the instrument I made some reference to The Physics of Music and Musical Instruments, by David Lapp to get the tuning right.

Item Picture

written by David Lapp
published by the Wright Center for Science Education Tufts University

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