A clarinet is a woodwind instrument, so it needs air from a human in order to work, as well as vibration from a reed. Learn about why a reed needs to be wet to produce a sound with help from an elementary school music teacher in this free video on clarinets.
Hi, I'm Brandie Suchevich. I'm an elementary school music teacher, and today I'm going to show you how the clarinet works. For this segment, you will need a clarinet and a reed. The clarinet is a woodwind instrument, so it needs air from a human to help it to work, and it also has a reed on the back, which vibrates, and this clarinet is made out of wood. Not all clarinets are. If you have a plastic clarinet, it's a beginner. It doesn't sound quite as nice. Wooden clarinets come from a black African wood, that actually comes from a tree in Africa, and whenever you blow through the clarinet, you need the reed on the back to vibrate, and it also needs to be wet to vibrate, and when you blow, it produces a sound. As you move your fingers on the tone holes, the sound changes. If you put more fingers down, the air has to travel father through the instrument, which makes a lower sound. If you move your fingers up, the sound goes higher. Now, there's a special key on the back called a register key, and if you push this key, it automatically makes the instrument jump up an extra register. So, even if all of your fingers are down on a low note, once you hit that one key, it opens up a hole on the top of the instrument, which shorts it, and it has a much higher sound. And that's how the clarinet works.