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Rampone E Flat

I just got this and haven't been able to find anything other than Rampone merged with Cazzani in about 1930. Any comments and info would be appreciated. I will post any other pictures that would help, too.

It has been stored together and I still haven't gotten the mouthpiece (original wood) and barrel apart. It needs a good cleaning, oiling, and new pads, and a crack repair. All else looks good. It is low pitch.
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Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
There were two A. Rampones in the area. IIRC, they were a couple miles away from each other.

Anyhow, the Rampone of Rampone & Cazzani is still around and R&C has always been very good about providing info, if you write. So, if nobody else drops by this thread, send R&C an e-mail. They're at info@ramponecazzani.it.

You might want to check if you've got a stamp that says "LP" or contact R&C before doing repairs. That's "Low Pitch," a modern intonation standard. If the horn is high pitch, it'll be out of tune with modern instruments and you can't make it play in tune. Also, the horn's fingering system is not the modern Boehm system. It's Albert -- although it also seems to have an extra key on the bottom joint and one missing from the top joint. Clarinets are still produced with this fingering system and some folks still play them (Terry will drop by, I'm sure), but that makes the horn a harder sell.


Old King Log
Staff member
If you are used to a Boehm horn (and most who play clarinet are), then playing an "Albert" will be a different experience. It looks like that one has the patent C# mechanism, a real pleasure to use (and necessary on a horn where the little finger keys are roughly equivalent to those on a saxophone.

The finger spacing (rather funky for someone used to a Boehm) and the lack of a normal thumb ring will take a little adjustment, but practice makes perfect and all of that.

And then there's the big problem - the first fingers. Play a lot of scales in all keys, as well as the chromatic one, this at the start of every session. The first fingers are the big difference, and you'll find yourself falling back to your primary horn (the one you learned on) whenever you get confused or flustered. It's the curse of the multiple fingering systems, and most of use are afflicted with it.

I keep waiting for someone to turn up an Albert Eb alto horn...
You have the added bit of fun on that one in that you don't seem to have a side Eb/Bb. Sliding on and off the cross key will take some practice. Fork fingerings might work mind.
Oh, yes. The mouthpiece is especially bad. I have cleaned and repadded other wooden clarinets, but they were "normal" and the wood wasn't this dry. This one has sat for so long that the corks have fused to the tenons and such. I just want to make sure I have researched and asked all the questions I can think of before I start on it. I don't even know what kind of pads would be best, let alone what sizes. All I have done is love it and kiss it and assure it that it has a safe home.

Oh! R&C responded to my e-mail, saying it "is a nice Mueller system from the 1930's".
That's odd. Mueller system usually refers to Ivan Mueller's (or Müller's) "clarinette omnitonique" system from the early 19th century. This is very different. [h=1][/h]
Is it possible that Albert is called Mueller in Italy? I am confused, too. I've had people say it is Albert, simple, Mueller, and Albert with some keys different than usual.


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
There are a couple Mullers, too :p. Iwan is the one that Mr. Dibbs is mentioning. Our own SOTSDO wrote an article on the Albert System here, which talks about Anton Mueller. (Forgive the lack of umlauts. Helen can fix, if she wants.) I *think* Terry just got the name wrong, though.

From what I read -- and I am NOT a clarinet scholar (I've just played clarinets) -- the I. Muller system is the basis upon which both the Oehler and Albert system were created. In any case,

a. Unless it's a really, really old clarinet, it's not going to be a straight "Muller System." Call it between 1812 and 1847ish. Here's a pic of an "actual" Muller. The upper joint is extremely similar on your horn, but the lower joint's got some very obvious differences.
b. The Oehler and Albert "systems" are essentially refinements and reworkings of the original design by Muller. If you look at an Albert and Oehler fingering chart, you'll see that a lot of the "basic" fingerings are the same. Oehler's just got a bunch more keys, so a bunch more alternate fingerings.
c. According to this extremely good article (and elsewhere), Albert system horns are generally called "Simple system" horns in the UK. However, I think folks tend to think that an Albert system horn that has very few keys and alternate fingerings is more "simple," though. Like this horn. As I mention above, your horn has an extra key on the lower joint and is missing one on the upper joint, from what I've seen on Albert system horns. That's not significant enough of a difference to say that the horn's not "Albert system" or has become an Oehler.

In other words, it's not completely incorrect to call it a "Muller System" or "Simple System." It's just not as accurate as "Albert System."
c. According to this extremely good article (and elsewhere), Albert system horns are generally called "Simple system" horns in the UK. However, I think folks tend to think that an Albert system horn that has very few keys and alternate fingerings is more "simple," though. Like this horn.
I can confirm that anything Albert-like is often called simple system over here.

I love those diagrams in your link. The Barrett action is a wonderful thing. The lowest side key does nothing if you finger C, gives you Eb if you finger D and F if you finger E. Arguably, it's superior to the Boehm system top joint arrangement.


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
You're welcome. There's so much good stuff out there. I'm hoping I can win the lottery and do research full-time.
Here are some photos of the naked top joint. It has extra holes that do not go all the was through to allow room for screw heads and the ends of some keys, like the octave. There are no needle springs. Notice the marks made by the person that made it to show where to gouge out a divet (?). There are lots of adaptations to allow for the rods to go across the curve of the tiny thing. One screw slot is modified to double as a place for the flat spring to rest. Maybe you've all seen stuff like this before, but I haven't. I'm still a newbie at this.

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