SCHWENK & SEGGELKE Klarinettenbau | Klarinetten mit französischer Griffweise, Modell 1000/1000+/3000

Clarinet models 1000/1000+/3000

Clarinets with French fingering

In 1840, Hyacinth Klosé and August Buffet changed the clarinet’s fingering in order to no longer require cross fingering when playing the F major scale. However, it took until the middle of the 20th century before their patent was implemented alongside the German fingering. Since the 1960s, the popularity of the instrument now commonly known as “Boehm clarinet”, has peaked. Due to its mass production in France and Asia it has taken the world by storm.

Pretty early on, there have been advocates for a change in fingering in Germany, as well. The most progressive instrument makers of the late 19th and early 20th century applied the new fingering to their instruments with German bores, as they knew about the benefits it brings to certain keys.

As the quintessence of our years of experience with musicians all around the world, we offer our clarinets with French fingering in two distinctively different corpus and bore variants:

Besides the large German bore as a basis for our Model 3000, we offer the typically French bore which differs from the former by having an elongated lower joint cone and a so-called poly cylindrical ratio in the upper joint (model 1000 / 1000+).

Our Model 1000 combines manual individual production and the most popular bore and fingering system worldwide, the so-called “Boehm clarinet”.

Our Model 1000+ is based on our Model 1000’s corpus and general tone hole positioning. The upper joint’s tone hole positioning differs, however: The tone hole for g’ is on the left side of the corpus. Thereby, the tone holes for a‘ flat and a’ can be positioned significantly further away from the mouthpiece and concurrently enlarged. Our b flat mechanism which we also use in our German bore Models 2000 and 3000, complements this design. On the lower joint, cross fingering b’/f’’ sharp culminates in a resonance key on the side (Acton mechanism) which enhances their intonation.

The combination of optimised tone holes and a traditional French bore allow for a deliberately more homogenous sound throughout the registers and a significantly optimised twelfth ratio. The result is a greatly improved intonation.

Our Model 3000 (German bore), also comes with the previously mentioned tone hole positioning, alongside further optional open half tone holes in form of resonance keys.

Sound characteristics:

  • Model 1000: The desire for a noticeable difference in sound colour between the low and high registers is reflected in this build – it is characterised by rich, fundamental lows and clear, increasingly brilliant highs.
  • Model 1000+: The modified tone hole positioning of this design results in a more evenly distributed sound colour. Especially the higher registers retain a certain richness.
  • Model 3000: The German bore’s larger, cylindrical parts in combinations with open half tone holes create a deeply homogenous, present and centred sound.

All further configuration options, e.g. the choice of wood, are listed in our configurator.

For more information on the manufacturing process of our instruments, please click here.

The period clarinet being a largely diatonically constructed instrument, the vast variety of clarinets we know today came to be. On period clarinets, keys with up to about three key signatures could be played quite well. Beyond that, sound, intonation and technical flexibility were limited which made the building of differently tuned instruments necessary.

Over time it showed that even with a chromatic design, the characteristic sound an instrument has due to its size, remains the same.

In musical scores during the 19th and 20th century, a much larger number of tunes was being used than we are able to, today (Clarinets in C and D). We would like to revive this historical playing experience and implement it in our daily work to evolve the richness of tonal colours in today’s music.

Konfigurator Modell 3000

Configurator Model 1000/1000+/3000

Please, use this tool to select your desired instrument’s features.

Get started!

Shirley Brill: Jean Francaix, Tema con variazioni

From the album Françaix & Prokofiev by Shirley Brill, Track 9
(Clarinet in A made from boxwood).
For further information on this particular recording, please click here.

Shirley Brill: Jean Francaix, Concert for Clarinet

From the album Françaix & Prokofiev by Shirley Brill, Track 1 (Clarinet made from grenadilla).
For further information on this particular recording, please click here.

Burgmüller: Duo in E flat major

From the album CaraClarina by Caroline Hartig, Track 6 (Clarinet made from mopane).
For further information on this particular recording, please click here.

Johannes Brahms: Intermezzo Nr. 2 (Excerpt)

From the album Duo Imaginaire: Romantic Reflections (John Corbett), Track 5 (Clarinet Model 3000).
For further information on this particular recording, please click here.


Should you have any further questions or special requests,
please don’t hesitate to contact us.