This introductory chapter explains the purpose of the book, which is to extend our knowledge and understanding of the development and evolution of the classical clarinet by tracing developments in four focus areas: (1) changes in the design, construction, mechanisms, and playability of the physical instrument; (2) playing techniques and performance practices that emerged as players and composers gained experience with the classical clarinet; (3) music utilizing the instrument and the derivation of a clarinet idiom; and (4) the introduction and use of the classical clarinet in performing groups. An overview of the subsequent chapters and sources of inspiration of the book are described.
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