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HELP . Trying to find out about my clarinet.

Discussion in 'Other Makes and Models' started by Jackdaw, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. Hi All

    Can anyone help me find out more about my Clarinet. My Grandparents gave it to me when I was about 8 (1975 ish). I stopped playing many years ago and took it up again a a couple of years ago. Its a Jacques Albert Fils Burxelles (see attached). I'm trying to find out it age but struggling. Can anyone help????


    Jackdaw IMG_1139.JPG
  2. TrueTone

    TrueTone Clarinet, Sax, Oboe, History

    From what I can tell from googling this, it's rather old, as Jacques Albert is related to Eugene Albert, who invented the Albert System Clarinet.
    It's from any point between about 1880 to the 1960s.
    Any more pictures? I can't tell what fingering system this is.
  3. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

  4. Here http://www.horniman.ac.uk/collections/browse-our-collections/authority/agent/identifier/agent-5993

    It says

    Albert, Jacques (Fils) was the name of a firm of woodwind instrument makers founded by Jacques Lucien Albert , son of Jacques Albert, grandson of Eugène Albert, founder of the firm. Active in La Couture-Boussey (NW of Paris), France c.1913-1919. He/ the firm also operated in 1922-25 in London and continued as Albert Clarionets Ltd. from 1925-1933. In 1939 bankruptcy was declared"

    So it was probably made between 1937 and 1939. He must have been in Brussels as well as Paris and London.
  5. It also says this at the same site so it's a bit confusing

    "instrument maker (1889- after 1950)1889-02-13, Brussels, Belgium, Western Europe, Europe

    after 1950, Brussels, Belgium, Western Europe, Europe

    Belgian instrument maker
    after 1846 - Jacques continued his father's woodwind instrument making business, set up in 1846, with his two brothers Jean Baptiste and Eugène Joseph Albert . (probably)"
  6. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    A different take:

    The firm was taken over in 1918 by Lucien Albert and went bankrupt in 1950.

    My opinion is that the 1937 - 1939 dating is probably fairly accurate.

    There's a bunch of stuff on Google.
  7. Thanks very much TrueTone for the feedback. I'll take some more photo's and post them.
  8. Excellent threads and links MrDibbs. Will post more photo's. It's so exciting finding out about something that I've sort of taken for granted having. It's great to play, is always in tune and makes a really nice sound. :)
  9. Thanks. Already had a look at some of these but the weren't really moving me forward in identifying my specific Clarinet.
  10. Here are some more photo's. I'm not the best photographer...........:( IMG_1140.JPG IMG_1141.JPG P1010228.JPG P1010231.JPG P1010233.JPG P1010234.JPG P1010235.JPG P1010236.JPG P1010237.JPG P1010238.JPG P1010239.JPG P1010240.JPG

    Attached Files:

  11. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    This is another variant on the "third vent" method of dealing with the shifting location where the airstream needs to be pieced on a clarinet for the third register.

    The ideal location of the register "vent" shifts as the instrument progresses up the scale, and the vent for the altissimo would ideally be situated higher on the instrument's body. The "half hole" on the left hand first finger is one way of accomplishing this, but an additional, properly located vent provide a better solution. It also adds additional key work and weight to the horn.

    On the bass clarinet, there are two vents provided. One is for the second (clarinet) register, automatically operated as the fingering progresses up the horn's body. The other is for the pinch Bb, plus the first couple of whole tones above the break.

    Ideally, a soprano horn would have one location for the pinch Bb, and a second for the actual register key. (The makeshift solution of fingering the pinch Bb with the trill key is a workaround for this.) However, the altissimo also works better with its own vent.

    As for the clarinet register, so too for the altissimo. What this maker/inventor has done is to provide an additional vent system, synchronized with the rest of the Boehm key work, to open this additional vent when progressing up to the altissimo. How successful this approach has been can be measured by the number of such instruments produced, i.e., very few.

    Back in the 1960s/1970s, Selmer produced a horn that also did this, but by opening a vent up on the horn's barrel. I don't recall the name (some Italian term or name), and I've never seen one up close, only on a Selmer display at one of the ICS conferences in the early 1980s.
  12. Thanks for the extra photos.

    The selmer version was called Marchi.
  13. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Thanks for the help - as soon as I saw it written out, it was a head slap moment - how could I have forgotten that Italianate name?

    The one thing that I recall about the mechanism was the "slop" in the portion mounted on the barrel. I never got to handle it, as I said, but I saw the clarinet majors do so, and the thing rattled as it was being handed from music student to music student. That much play (which could be seen - it was that loose) could not have made for a precise, crisp action when toggling the vent open and shut.

    Of course, the Marchi vent is mounted on the barrel, not on the body. That alone mandated some sort of "flexible" connection that could be adjusted during the tuning process. If I was doing the design, I would have put some sort of spring follower in the mechanism to take up the slack once it was on the operating plate on the upper joint. This would have taken out the slop, while not affecting the operation.

    But, I'm just a stupid Bavarian/Prussian hybrid, not an artistic Frenchman, Walloon or Italian. My father was more likely to take a hammer to one of his myriad of innovations than a screwdriver, and I still have trouble resisting the temptation myself. Hell, I'm the guy who used to whale away at the final drive connections on my tank with a hammer (a 15 pound lead makeup hammer, mind you - something that the Army didn't see fit to include in my driver's tool kit, and which I had to have my practical-minded Prussian mother send me by mail once I noted the deficiency), so I'm not the best judge of delicate mechanisms.

    Personally, I think that the altissimo register on all of the members of the clarinet family is overused. I'd prefer hearing the same thing performed on a smaller clarinet (within limits, of course - the Ab horn is more of a curiosity than a musical instrument) than on a larger one taken up an octave.

    An excellent example of this nonsense is the "Spanish Panic" number in the Mary Rodgers' musical Once Upon A Mattress, where the "composer" (use of quotes there intentional; see below) set the bass clarinet playing in the altissimo while the clarinet plays in the low clarinet and chalmeau registers. Apparently, she didn't bother to look at the range charts provided to her by her teacher; also see below_.

    (My pianist at the time, who had been her theory teacher when she was writing her one noted musical theater effort, said that she was pretty stupid when it came to composition. He didn't need to convince me, I tell you what. Ultimately, after playing all of those high Es and Fs on a horn that needed adjustment, I just gave up, and the next time that I did it, I just brought my soprano, played everything in that one number down an octave, and no one was the wiser. One more box to carry, but a hell of a lot easier and more melodic as well.)
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