Clarinet systems overview.
Clarinet systems

Clarinets have a long history and were developed with different mechanical systems.
Today the most popular system is the so-called Boehm or Conservatoire system. This is used all over the world. Among the Boehm systems are different variations, depending on the number of keys.

The most common one is the 17keys/6 rings and for the professional the 18keys /6 rings.

The most popular manufacturers are:

Boehm System

1. Buffet-Crampon - France,
2. Joseph - Japan,
3. Leblanc - USA,
4. Peter Eaton - England,
5. RZ - Czech Republic,
6. Rossi - Chile,
7. Schwenk & Segelke - Germany,
8. Selmer-Paris - France,
9. Uebel - China & Germany,
10. Yamaha - Japan, Taiwan and China,

In Germany, parts of Austria, Switzerland and some eastern European countries the German system is predominant.

The fingering is different from the Boehm system and they have a wide variation of key systems. Simple ones are often referred to as Albert system, more advanced ones have additional correction and resonance keys and are often called Oehler-system clarinets.

The most popular German-system instruments are produced by

German System with Oehler improvement

1. Adler - Germany,
2. Harald Hüyng - Germany,
3. Hammerschmidt - Germany and Austria
4. Herbert Wurlitzer - Germany,
5. Schreiber - Germany,
6. Schwenk & Segelke - Germany,
7. Wolfgang Dietz - Germany,
8. Uebel - China & Germany,
9. Yamaha - Japan, Taiwan and China ,

The so-called Reform-boehm system tried to combine both systems and had a certain popularity in the Netherlands. Instruments were offered by,
1. Herbert Wurlitzer - Germany,
2. Schwenk & Segelke - Germany,
3. Yamaha - Japan, (no longer in production)

Other, less common systems are the Wiener-Modell, Schmidt-Model, Albert systems, and the G-clarinet played in Turkey and Greece.

Help us to get better
Was this article helpful?

Comments, additions or questions are always welcome at:
(C)2011 - by Lohff & Pfeiffer USA-6220 Rhode Island Ave-Riverdale Park MD 20737 - USA - Phone: (812) 340-0595 & 415 470 6879 -