Clarinet Science

For clarinet and New Orleans geeks

I have collected a few articles and informative pages for nerds like myself. I’m always on the hunt for information about the music I play and the clarinets I use. It’s also confusing. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know. I still have to investigate whether the fabulous tone of the Albert system is in the instrument or the clarinetist who blows it !! Here is what I have found so far:


My clarinets

The clarinets I’ve been playing, and the stories behind
My Clarinets



Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, New York, Photograph by G.R. Christmas

I am aware that I play Albert system. But are all German system clarinets Alberts, or are there different systems within the German branch?
Albert, Oehler or Boehm



Albert System, Eugene Albert

Some of the old masters talk about why they chose the Albert system, and why they find it so unique. Many claim the tone is different from the Boehm system. Some say Boehm is a modern clarinet with exactly the same acoustic abilities – just easyer to play.
The Albert System


Diapason Normal, Koenig's tuning fork, copy

I wanted to find out why we have to be so careful and fanatic about where the pitch is when we purchase a new vintage clarinet, and stumbled upon the amazing history of pitch
History of Pitch



Jacob Denner Clarinet - Reconstruction

Interesting article by Jürgen Bräunlein. The story about the inventer of the clarinet, Johann Christoph Denner. For Your information: It’s in German!
Birth of the ClarinetJanuary 14 - 1690



George Lewis

An interview with George Lewis shortly before his death in 1968 published in Tom Bthell’s book: ‘A Jazzman from New Orleans’. George talks about aspects within his life as a musician: The style of New Orleans music, the different instruments and musicians, clarinets and clarinet technique, reeds, and other matters…
George Lewis Interview


Eberhard Kraut's collection of Selmer clarinets

Eberhard Kraut, specialist in ‘Who played what cind of clarinet’ in New Orleans jazz, is here telling about the great clarinetists who played Selmer clarinets. About the specific models down to the smallest but important details and features. So far, this wonderful article is only available in German.
Henri SELMER clarinets in jazz


SELMER clarinets in A and Bb, “Full-Albert“-System as Johnny Dodds played in 1925

Eberhard Kraut has presented this fine article in ‘rohrblatt’ – a German specialist journal for oboe, clarinet, bassoon and saxophone. It’s a great follow-up to the previous article:  ‘Henri Selmer clarinets in jazz’
Selmer Albert clarinets in jazz



Wurlitzer catalogue 1930

Another article in German by Eberhard Kraut.  The story about George Lewis’ metal clarinet. He played it on Bill Russell’s famous recordings from 1943/44. Bonus: How Burgundy Street Blues was born.
George Lewis’ Metal Clarinet



George Lewis - Ice Cream

All about the Penzel-Mueller Clarinets and their use in early jazz. George Lewis seemed to like them a lot…
– by Eberhard Kraut.  
George Lewis’ Penzel-Mueller Clarinet



All about Noblet clarinets and their use in early and contemporary jazz.
– by Eberhard Kraut.  
Noblet clarinets in jazz