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 F Clarinet
Author: Mike Rabe 
Date:   2018-08-25 19:43

I have a Buffet clarinet in F. Like a basset horn without the basset notes. It uses a standard Bb mouthpiece and I suppose would be considered narrow bore. It's from 1901. Does anyone have any background about why this instrument was made, if there are any other out there, etc. I use it to play the upper parts of basset horn trios, Mozart Requiem, etc.

Mike



Post Edited (2018-08-28 02:38)

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 Re: F Clarinet
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2018-08-25 20:14

Pictures please!

Buffet made three types F alto clarinets in the early 20th century:

Small bore to low E: basically shaped like a big clarient with a straight bell and neck. Very rare and hard to find today. I only know of one that exists but I've never seen it it person.

Small bore to low Eb: Shaped like an alto clarient. This sounds like what you have. Essentially the same as the basset horn but missing the extra notes

"Radio model" alto in F, large bore: Unlike the two previous instruments this was a true alto clarinet and used an alto clarinet mouthpiece. If they are made after around 1955 they will be marked "RADIO MODEL" although the earlier ones are acoustically identical with only minor keywork differences.

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: F Clarinet
Author: Mike Rabe 
Date:   2018-08-25 20:30

I have the model that looks like a large clarinet with a straight wooden bell. The neck is curved metal.

The horn is in the shop at the moment, but I'll rummage around for a picture from the performances.

Thanks for the info!

Mike

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 Re: F Clarinet
Author: Mike Rabe 
Date:   2018-08-25 20:31

oh, and it goes down to e

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 Re: F Clarinet
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-08-25 21:40

Leblanc also offered what were effectively F alto clarinets which were truncated basset horns (or basset horns were extended F altos) built to low Eb.

It's listed in the range chart in this catalogue:
https://i.pinimg.com/736x/82/12/8e/82128e9434e4d81676481339a2ef8908.jpg

If you look at a Leblanc basset horn, you'll see where the lower joint is divided as there's a socket ring between the F/C and E/B toneholes:

https://thumbnail.image.rakuten.co.jp/@0_mall/k-gakki/cabinet/clarinet/leb315s.jpg

Chris.

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 Re: F Clarinet
Author: Mike Rabe 
Date:   2018-08-28 02:27

Pictures of the F Clarinet

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 Re: F Clarinet
Author: Mike Rabe 
Date:   2018-08-28 02:44

Another try at posting pics of the f clarinet.

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 Re: F Clarinet
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2018-08-28 02:49

If it doesn't work you can try uploading the images through imgur:

https://imgur.com/upload

That's what I always do when my images are too big.

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: F Clarinet
Author: Mike Rabe 
Date:   2018-08-28 02:54

https://imgur.com/a/U810Vku

A picture of the Buffet F clarinet, one in the case and the other next to a Buffet Bb clarinet.

I would appreciate any information about the instrument.

Thanks,

Mike



Post Edited (2018-08-28 03:03)

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 Re: F Clarinet
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-08-28 04:18

https://imgur.com/a/U810Vku

Hehe! A basset horn to low E!

I've got an old ring key Selmer basset horn (low C) based on the Buffet design which looks near on identical from the middle socket ring upwards as the lower joint obviously carries far more keywork. That also uses a soprano mouthpiece as does the current Selmer basset horn.

Here's its twin: http://www.clarinetsdirect.biz/SelmerBH-Ismay.html

Mine's earlier than this one by just one number and the top joint on mine hasn't been converted to plateaux keywork. I can see why someone may have done that as the tuning up top is unstable with some conventional fingerings - especially altissimo E and F as they go off the scale with LH1 raised.

For altissimo E and F I either half-hole LH1 for both of them, or for E, keep LH1 closed and open the throat G# key and for F nudge the throat A key open instead of lifting LH1 off.

Mine's a work in progress - I still need to add some extra keywork to the lower joint and considering converting the LH1 ring key to a perforated fingerplate to make the altissimo E and F easier. And a floor spike as mine hasn't got one fitted. But I do have a modern Buffet RC Prestige basset horn which I also need to do some keywork alterations on and tonehole work in the form of fitting tonehole bushes/tubes that enter into the bore in a bid to keep condensation out of the ones on the back of the top joint.

https://imgur.com/a/U810Vku

As well as playing other basset horn parts that don't descend below E, I think it's a pretty useful instrument if you don't always need the basset notes and you also have plenty of music in the solo cor anglais and horn repertoire to play from, so there's no real limit to what it can do.

Next one you should get is a G clarinet to bridge the gap!

Chris.

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 Re: F Clarinet
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-08-28 04:23

FWIW, the first time I played the Mozart Gran Partitta I used an F instrument that only went to low E, as I remember. We borrowed two of them from the Curtis Institute. The one that I played didn't extend below E (maybe Eb)) while the other went to low C, which was needed only for the basset 2 part in the Menuetto.

I was under the impression at the time (and still was until I began to read this thread) that they were both considered basset horns, one with a low C extension, just as bass clarinets can either go to Eb or to C and still both be called bass clarinets.

The case is different, of course with a basset clarinet, which is defined by the low C extension.

Karl

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 Re: F Clarinet
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2018-08-28 04:44

Thanks for the pics!

That's a very rare and unique horn you have there, never even knew something like that existed! It seems Buffet has made virtually every possible variation of the clarinet in F.

Just for comparison here's my basset horn:

https://imgur.com/MbIDl5H

It's amazing how almost every detail on my instrument looks slightly different from your's. Granted they were made far apart from each other, but this shows that Buffet completely scrapped their basset horn design at least twice in the last century and started from scratch (once for the "Professional" model and another time for the newer Prestige model). Even the neck on mine is a different length.

Personally I've always wanted something like my basset horn, but with open holes and a straight bell with a range to low E. I feel that it would be great for Jazz and improv. If you ever decide to sell it you know who to call :)

-Jdbassplayer

Edit - added link



Post Edited (2018-08-28 04:44)

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