The series Une histoire de la musique à travers ses instruments (A history of music through its instruments) takes a look at the history of the instruments we use today in Western music. Here you can find out more about the clarinet.
Woodwind instrument maker Jean-Christophe Denner of Nuremberg was the inventor of the clarinet (1690), an instrument that was integrated into orchestras in the eighteenth century and was made popular by jazz musicians. There are three main types of clarinet: the Bb clarinet or ordinary clarinet; the Eb clarinet or alto clarinet; and the bass clarinet in B flat, which Wagner often used. The first clarinets were made of boxwood or grenadilla, a native Caribbean wood.