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 What is this clarinet pitched in?
Author: clarimad 
Date:   2017-12-06 00:31

I own a Metzler clarinet that dates from the 1840s. I'm unsure what it is pitched in as the length from the top of the barrel to the end of the bell is 49.5cm. Can anyone advise? Thanks in anticipation.

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 Re: What is this clarinet pitched in?
Author: dubrosa22 
Date:   2017-12-06 00:58

Metzler was a London maker and at that period (1840s) the pitch was fairly close to what we call today Low Pitch. Close enough anyway.

Whether it is a D, C, B, Bb, A etc. is hard to determine without actually being able to play it. However, someone with a similar length simple-system clarinet should be able to help you roughly guess its pitch.


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 Re: What is this clarinet pitched in?
Author: Roxann 
Date:   2017-12-06 01:40

Would it be possible to check the instrument against a tuner? Play C on the instrument and let the tuner tell you what note you're actually playing. When I play a C on my Bb, the tuner tells me I'm playing Bb. When I play a C on my Eb it tells me I'm playing Eb. Just an idea. Might be a really quick way to get your answer.d

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 Re: What is this clarinet pitched in?
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2017-12-06 02:59

Most likely a high pitched C clarinet. Pretty typical for the era.


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 Re: What is this clarinet pitched in?
Author: dubrosa22 
Date:   2017-12-06 09:26

Probably higher than 440 but possibly not by much however if it is from the first half of the 19th century:

'... We start the 19th century at around 425 Hz, move up to 430, head for 445 around the middle of the century, have a brief flirtation with higher pitches around 1875-85 (or perhaps earlier), then plummet back to pitches around 440.'

Of course the Metzler family did produce instruments during the peak of English High Pitch madness (and beyond)...


Thanks Terry :)

Post Edited (2017-12-06 09:27)

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 Re: What is this clarinet pitched in?
Author: Ed Palanker 2017
Date:   2017-12-06 18:19

Using a tuner is your best bet for accuracy.


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 Re: What is this clarinet pitched in?
Author: Wes 
Date:   2017-12-06 23:45

Well, I have a Firth Hall and Pond boxwood clarinet from the 1840s that seems to tune to about A440 for reference.

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 Re: What is this clarinet pitched in?
Author: Enatural 
Date:   2017-12-24 00:44

My clarinet is just 3.5mm longer and seems to play C = C , the mouth piece will change the actual note and also the old original reed is a lot smaller and thiner than the Eb reed, I think embroucher and bore size also can change the actual note.

So you may have a C clarinet

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