Clarinet History 101

Do you want to learn more about clarinet history? If so, this download is for you! This is a general overview of clarinet history, from its development to the present day which includes:

  • 76-page historical overview divided into chronological modules (outlined below)
  • general overview of clarinet history in an easy-to-understand format
  • contains discussion questions, recommended listening, and links to additional resources for further exploration
  • great resource to prepare for orals or comprehensive exams

Here are a few reasons why clarinet history is important:

  • it can help you develop a deeper understanding of the clarinet – where it came from and what the future might hold
  • it can help clarinet students prepare for comprehensive exams and finals
  • it can help researchers further their knowledge and examination of specific subjects

I believe it is important for clarinetists to have a working knowledge of the instrument’s history, but this is becoming more and more difficult. Even though most clarinetists are expected to know some modicum of clarinet history, it is largely inaccessible to the average clarinetist. To my knowledge, there are no formal courses offered to teach this subject. Many books written on this subject are out of print or prohibitively expensive for most individuals. Although some university and conservatory libraries house some of these books, students and their teachers studying remotely during the current pandemic will not have access to these resources.

Here is an overview of the course modules:

  • Introduction
  • Why is clarinet history important?
  • Predecessors to the clarinet
  • The development of the clarinet
  • 1700-1750
  • 1750-1800
  • 1800-1850
  • 1850-1900
  • 1900-1950
  • 1950-2000
  • 21st century
  • Conclusions
  • Resources for non-Western clarinet history
  • Additional reading and other resources

If you have any question, you can contact me or email