from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A woodwind instrument which was the predecessor of the clarinet.
  • n. The lowest range of the clarinet, reaching up to written B♭ (B flat) above middle C.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An obsolete musical instrument, probably of the clarinet class. See shawm.
  • n. The lowest portion or register of the scale of the clarinet and of the basset-horn.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French chalumeau, from Latin calamellus, diminutive of calamus ("reed"), from Ancient Greek κάλαμος (kálamos, "reed").


  • The scale of the original instrument is still called chalumeau by the clarinet player; about the middle of the last century it was extended down to E.

    Scientific American Supplement No. 819, September 12, 1891

  • Accompanied by an ensemble, Musica Fiata, incorporating specialist period instruments such as chalumeau, arciliuto and violino in tromba marina, La Capella Ducale deliver the psalms with joy, some of the ornamentation is so detailed it sounds like laughter.

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  • This is the unidealistic version; as always she is richly sexual -- the very timbre as well as her masterly deployment of it (listen to the chalumeau of 'Nachtgespenster' and 'laenger') make one see and feel the disordered bed, the sultry night, the sensual coils.

    Les lignes, les couleurs, les sons deviennent vagues

  • At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Johann Mattheson, the great, stunningly eloquent peacock of Baroque musical literature, was in no doubt that the chalumeau the forerunner of the clarinet – with its “rather howling sound”, was not an appropriate instrument to be heard in sophisticated entertainments.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • "Juditha" is filled with beguiling music very lushly orchestrated and filled with exotic Baroque instruments that have ceased to be used in modern orchestras, like the chalumeau sounds like a cross between a flute and a clarinet or the lavishly strung theorbo, giving the score an exotic sound always filled with Vivaldi's sensuous, graceful lyricism.


  • ‘Nay, if you cannot relish la houlette et le chalumeau, have with you in heroic strains.’


  • The chalumeau being a cylindrical pipe, the upper partials could only be in an odd series, and when Denner made them speak, they were consequently not an octave, but a twelfth above the fundamental notes.

    Scientific American Supplement No. 819, September 12, 1891

  • This name of clarinet, or clarionet, became accepted for the entire instrument, including the chalumeau register.

    Scientific American Supplement No. 819, September 12, 1891

  • By his invention, an older and smaller instrument, the chalumeau, of eleven notes, without producible harmonics, was, by an artifice of raising a key to give access to the air column at a certain point, endowed with a harmonic series of eleven notes a twelfth higher.

    Scientific American Supplement No. 819, September 12, 1891

  • At the hour of noon, the shepherd had sometimes acquired an augmentation to his audience, in some comely matron or blooming maiden, with whom he had rendezvoused by such a fountain as we have described, and who listened to the husband's or lover's chalumeau, or mingled her voice with his in the duets, of which the songs of the troubadours have left so many examples.

    The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 13, No. 373, Supplementary Number


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