For Information on Noblet (Leblanc and Normandy) company history
please click here
|(my brief synopsis of
Normandy) Normandy used to be a
separate brand before Leblanc bought them in 1978. I believe they
were a closely cooperating company with Leblanc as the bodies seem to be
very similar to the Noblets in dimensions including the tenon rings and
certain era of keywork. Tonal-wise of the various vintages of Nomandy 4,
8s and 10s I have discerned very little tonal qualities differences.
Though they were of various vintages, various conditions and various
times; so little could be learned.
Earlier Normandys had the Normandy sheidl emblem and the world FRANCE
Before the buyout Normandy had an entire line of Clarinets. Normandy
Normandy also had a 5 and 7 model. The Normandy 7 had the
Since Selmer USA’s purchase of GLeBlanc USA (primarily a distributor)
Overall, these are very good instruments for the money when properly
– Some Normandy Special sn 9541A had a stamp “Made by Noblet”
Normandy was a marque within in the Leblanc
range of musical instrument brands. The Normandy model lineup included
soprano clarinets in B-flat, E-flat, A, and C; alto and bass clarinets;
oboes, and flutes. In this article, we’ll examine the Normandy soprano
The Normandy was the entry-level wooden clarinet within the Leblanc
The early generations of Normandy soprano clarinets had simplified
|THE ORIGINAL NORMANDY
The first Normandy model is commonly referred to as the “Original
Normandy”. It has several specific identifiers such as a
shared post for the throat G# and A keys, three sets of posts for the
trill keys, and a composite, rather than wooden, bell. Unlike later
low-priced offerings in the Normandy lineup, the Original model featured
inline “jump” trill keys.
The Original Normandy had a logo with a narrow shield with a diagonal
Most of these instruments are encountered with unplated German silver
|THE NORMANDY SPECIAL
Introduced sometime later than the Original Normandy was the Normandy
“Special”. As a further cost-saving measure, the “Special” was equipped
with angled, Buffet-style trill keys, mounted on three sets of posts.
Throughout the Normandy model run, Normandys with the Buffet-style trill
keys were offered at lower prices than otherwise-identical Normandys
equipped with inline trill keys.
Some Specials can be found with the shared post for the G# and A throat
The Normandy Special had the same logo as the Original Normandy, with
|THE NORMANDY FRANCE RESO-TONE
The first Reso-Tone was much like the Normandy Special. The keywork was
identical to the Special and featured Buffet-style trill keys mounted on
three sets of posts, and throat G# and A keys mounted on separate
suspensions. The body, barrel, and bell were made out of a heavy, rather
The France Reso-Tone was stamped with the wider Normandy shield with
The France Reso-Tone was equipped with unplated German silver keywork,
|THE TRANSITIONAL NORMANDY
The next evolution of the wooden-body Normandy was the “Transitional”
model. It featured the same inline trill keys mounted on three sets of
posts as with the Original Normandy, but seperate mounting posts for the
throat G# and A keys.
The Transitional Normandy is found with unplated German silver keywork
|NORMANDY 5, 7, and 10
By the middle-to-late 1950’s, Normandy models 5, 7, and 10 had been
introduced. The keywork on these models were identical and lacked the
simplifcations found on earlier Normandys–the inline trill keys were
now mounted on four sets of posts, and the throat keys each had their
own separate suspensions. The Normandy keywork had now evolved to the
point of being very close to that of the Noblet.
Models 5, 7, and 10 differed only in the composition of the barrel and
Model 5 disappeared from the Normandy lineup by 1961, replaced by the
A c.1962 brochure lists the Normandy 7 at a price of $172.50 and the
Serial number analysis shows that the Model 10 remained in production
The mid-to-late 1950’s also saw the introduction of the Model 5P. This
model was equipped with plateau keys throughout. Unlike the standard
Model 5, which had inline trill keys, the 5P was equipped with the
Buffet-style trill keys mounted on three sets of posts.
The body and barrel of the 5P were wooden. Early 5P models were equipped
In 1960, the Normandy 5P had a list price of $159.50. A c.1962 brochure
By 1958, the Normandy 14 Reso-Tone had been introduced. This is the
familiar USA-made “Viton” plastic Normandy. The 14’s bright
nickel-plated keywork incorporated inline trill keys mounted on three
sets of posts as seen on the Original and Transitional models.
The Model 14 featured yet another new logo, a wide-type shield with
By 1960, the Normandy 14P Reso-Tone was in production. This was a “Viton”
plastic clarinet with plateau keys. Unlike the regular Model 14, the 14P
was made in France and equipped with Buffet-style trill keys mounted on
three sets of posts. With the exception of the plateau key system, the
14P keywork was identical to the Normandy France Reso-Tone.
The 14P had the serifed Normandy shield used on Models 5, 5P, 7, and 10
Sometime during or after 1961, the Model 6 was introduced. During its
production run, it was the lowest-priced Normandy with a wooden body. It
was essentially a reintroduction of the Special, with a wooden body,
composite barrel and bell, and Buffet-style trill keys mounted on three
sets of posts. The keywork was bright nickel-plated. A short-lived
model, the Model 6 was replaced by 1965 with the Model 8.
A c.1962 brochure offers the Model 6 at a list price of $162.50.
Sometime during or after 1961, the Model 140P was introduced. Made of
“Vi-Plex” plastic, It seems to have been identical to the Model 14P
except for the logo details. The 14P has FRANCE under the Normandy
shield on the upper joint as seen on Models 5, 5P, 7, and 10, while the
140P has a much smaller MADE IN FRANCE stamped near the top of the upper
By 1964, the model 10P was in production. This was a plateau-key
clarinet with inline trill keys. The body, barrel, and bell were all
In 1966, the list price of a Normandy 10P was $245.00.
The Model 8 was introduced by 1966 as a replacement for the Model 6 and,
like the Model 6, was the lowest-priced wooden Normandy. The Model 8
differed from the Model 6 in having its Buffet-style trill keys mounted
on four sets of posts rather than three, and was equipped with a wooden
bell rather than a composite one.
In 1966, the Normandy 8 had a list price of $175.00.
Serial number analysis shows that the Model 8 was in production by 1965
The Model 208 incorporated the Stubbins double mechanism for the
register key, with separate register key vent and B-flat tone tone,
similar to the systems found on the lower-pitched members of the
clarinet family. Depressing the register key without depressing the
thump ring actuated the B-flat tone hole.
Unlike the Model 8, the 208 had inline trill keys mounted on four sets
|NORMANDY 7 REINTRODUCED
Sometime during or after 1966, yet another version of the Model 7 was
introduced. It is easily distinguised from the earlier model 7’s by
having a wooden barrel and bell, and the Normandy logo now incorporated
the number 7 within the shield below the word “Normandy”.
Serial number analysis shows that the new Model 7 remained in production
Perhaps the most familiar of all Normandys, the Model 4 was introduced
by 1969 and continued in production until the phaseout of the Normandy
brand in the mid-2000’s. The Normandy 4 is equipped with nickel-plated
keywork, inline trill keys, and a wooden body, barrel, and bell. All are
marked as a model 4 with various iterations of the Normandy logo.
Keywork details have changed somewhat over the decades. Early Model 4
After Conn-Selmer bought out Leblanc the Normandy 4 became the Noblet
|NORMANDY 4 Special
A Model 4 Special was also produced. The 4 Special was equipped with a
composite bell rather than a wooden one.
The 4 Special has the familiar Normandy 4 shield logo with “Special”
|much of the Information was provided by:
Gregory G, Michigan
|Normandy Resonite emblem|
|Early Normandy – SN # 1697 (approx 1940s).
Only with a Normandy emblem and FRANCE underneath it. Probably the
precursor to the Normandy 4 branding. Some early Normandy 4s had
the 4 emblem on the lower joint only. Some early ones were later
called Specials with a plastic bell. SN# 15xxx was a Special
without the designation which dates it to approx 1960 or earlier (see
|Normandy 4 emblem (top)
New Normandy 4 logo (bottom)
|Normandy 8 emblem
|Normandy 10 emblem
|Liberty Noblet (Normandy) Clarinets –
In late 2005 the Music Group had a essay contest about band directors
for “why your band director is the best”. The winning school received a
complete set of special branded instruments, they were branded
“Liberty”. This included Armstrong Flutes, Bach Trumpets, Noblet
Clarinets, Bach Trombones, Selmer Alto and Tenor Saxophones. These
are not professional instruments. These are not intermediate
instruments, but student instruments. The Noblet clarinet is somewhat
stripped down Noblet. The clarinet, model LCL-100 had a “retail”
price list of $730
|Link # 1
Log for Normandy 8, 10 & 4 (and probably the other models too)
|1964||24000||35500||1965||35501||42000||1966||42001 (42849 N10)||47000||1967||47001||51500||1968||51501||55398||1969||57401||59750||1970||59751||53804||1971||53805||65499||1972||65500||69699||1973||69700||82363||1974||72364||74728||1975||74729||76007||1976||76008||78349||1977||78350||86946||1978||86947||91100||1979||91101||93648||1980||93649||96859||1981||96860||9760||1982||97761||98257||1983||98258||B26150||In the late 1980’s Normandy changed the method of
springs (cheaper) Instead of the normal needle spring they went to a
spring for the C#/G# key
|Vito Clarinets Models 7212,7213,7214,v40,cl612,cl614,7242|
FYI, I obtained all the Leblanc, Noblet and Normandy serial number lists
from a nice lady at G Leblanc USA about a year before they were bought by
Selmer USA. These were paper lists faxed to me. The computers
only had a few years in them by comparison. No list exists before
these lists – at least not at G Leblanc USA at the time per that nice lady.
Not sure if they exist at all now at Selmer USA since they closed the G