The alto clarinet belongs to the clarinet family and is categorized as a wind instrument. This instrument is usually pitched in E. Another name for this instrument is tenor clarinet. This name is given to the instrument when it is in F. The size of this an alto clarinet lies amid bass clarinet and soprano clarinet. When it comes to the shape, this instrument rather has a straight body. The body is generally made of hard rubber, plastic, Grenadilla or any other kind of wood. It further consists of a metal bell and an arched neck. There are different styles of an alto clarinet. You can also get all metal clarinets as well.
Basset horn is one such instrument, to which it looks similar when it comes to the appearance. However, an alto clarinet is different in many respects as this instrument does not have an extensive lower range, the pitch of this instrument is lower and the bore is wider as compared to a basset horn. Most of the contemporary alto clarinets just like other musical instruments belonging to clarinet family comprises of Oehler or Boehm system of fingering and keys. The alto clarinet comes with an additional key. This instrument is still a part of modern wind band.
When directors wish to put in some color to a hefty clarinet segment they frequently make the musicians play an alto clarinet. An alto clarinet, inserts tonal power to an ensemble, with its capability of playing lower notes. This instrument gives out a darker sound along with a shrill quality. The sound produced by this instrument lies between the higher pitched and lower pitched clarinets. This instrument is mostly used in clarinet choirs as well as concert bands. The beautiful notes produced by an alto clarinet are very suitable for small ensembles. It works wonders when paired with a bass clarinet. Playing an alto is not easy at all; some musicians take a bit of time to get a feel for the larger size of the alto. You will need a strap to carry an alto while playing.
You will find alto clarinets mainly in symphony bands and harmony bands. It is very rare that you will find this instrument in classical orchestras. There are many musicians who love to play an alto clarinet, and it is likely that an alto will be a favorite of many for years to come. If you are looking for an instrument that can produce incredibly rich, touching and beautiful notes, then this musical instrument can come handy. The range of the sound given out by an alto is amazing.
The mouthpiece of an alto clarinet is also available in a number of styles. You can choose an instrument and its mouthpiece according to your level of skills. When buying an alto clarinet, it is important to get a feel of the instrument. You might have a bit trouble to play it in the beginning because of the larger size, but with some training, you can create magic with this instrument. Make sure that you buy good quality clarinet, so that you can play with ease. There is a huge selection of alto clarinets in the market, and you can easily get one from a nearby music store. So just, go try this instrument if you want to play striking tones.