I love learning about the clarinet’s history, and there are so many wonderful resources available. Here are a few of my favorite clarinet history books (please note that some of these may be out of print or difficult to find. I recommend checking out nearby university libraries or using interlibrary loans):
- Clarinet Virtuosi of the Past by Pamela Weston – Perhaps my favorite book on this list, this book examines famous clarinetists of the past, including Anton Stadler, Heinrich Baermann, and Richard Mühlfeld. Pamela Weston is a brilliant writer and scholar, and she wrote other clarinet books, including The Clarinet Teacher’s Companion, More Clarinet Virtuosi of the Past, Clarinet Virtuosi of Today, and Yesterday’s Clarinettists: A Sequel.
- The Clarinet: Some Notes upon Its History and Construction by Francis Geoffrey Rendall – Another great resource on clarinet history and development throughout the years. This book is more technical than other books in terms of describing the clarinet’s technical, mechanical, and acoustical properties.
- The Clarinet by Oskar Kroll – Kroll includes a detailed history of the history and development of the modern-day clarinet, from innovations in technology to the evolution of the instrument’s repertoire. A must-read for any serious clarinetist.
- Clarinet by Jack Brymer – While there are several general clarinet books, this one is written in a way so that clarinet connoisseurs and non-musicians alike can easily understand its content. This would be a great book for those wishing to learn more about the instrument who might not be familiar with clarinet terminology.
- The Clarinet by Eric Hoeprich – This is another history on the development and evolution of the clarinet. Hoeprich includes an intensive examination of early clarinets along with other members of the clarinet family.
- The Clarinet in the Classical Period by Albert Rice – Rice is a well-known scholar who has written several books and articles about the clarinet’s history. This is just one of his books, and I recommend checking out his others as well.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend!