The need for suitable clarinets for young students

Zurich/Lucerne, December 2015

To whom it may concern:

To this day, there is still no suitable instrument for young beginning clarinetists.

For the first year of lessons, it is possible to teach basics using the existing beginning instruments such as the tiger-striped high G-clarinet. However, there is as yet no suitable instrument for continuing to the next stages with the clarinet.

For years, we pedagogues have been looking for ways to solve this problem, and during this year’s symposium, we have come to the conclusion that we need a new instrument with the following characteristics:

In order to facilitate learning the clarinet for young beginners, it is necessary to develop a new instrument in-between the tiger-striped clarinet which is pitched in high G and the existing C-clarinet. This clarinet should have complete key-work and also be pitched in high G.

The high G-clarinet to be developed must have the following characteristics:

  • Light-weight and well balanced
  • A beautiful tone with a very well-functioning mouthpiece (possibly an Eb mouthpiece)
  • Good intonation
  • An almost full set of keys but without the left-hand Eb key and without the Bb and C side trill-keys.
  • The new G-clarinet should be rented out by music stores and be reasonably priced.
  • For reasons of economy and environmental protection, the new instrument should be robust enough to be well playable for at least five years. Repairs should also be worthwhile.

In conclusion, we would like to point out another important pedagogical reason for using clarinets in the key of high-G: A clarinet in this key, when played in the [common] keys of F, G, Bb and C Major and in the parallel keys of E, G, A and D minor, matches the range of singing children exactly!

In addition, the high-G clarinet is, from a medicinal point of view, just the right length to enable the clarinet-playing child to sustain an ideal posture and to be able to play with perfectly angeled arms. No longer is a defective posture caused by playing an instrument which is too large.

The undersigned would heartily welcome the development of a suitable instrument for smaller children in the near future.

With this new clarinet, we hope to effectively reverse the failing popularity of the clarinet [and so continue to provide you with long term customers]. We hope to have aroused your interest.

For the Swiss Clarinet Society

Sibylle Schuppli and Hanstoni Kaufmann