Inventor of the Clarinet

Johann Christoph Denner

Johann  Denner was a German Musician and Instrument maker who invented the Clarinet between the years 1690 and 1700.  

Although Denner based the clarinet on an earlier instrument called the chalumeau, his new instrument made such important changes that it really could not be called an evolution. With the help of his son, Jacob Denner he added two finger keys to a chalumeau which at the time one looked much like a modern day recorder, though with a single-reed mouthpiece.

The Denner Family

Johann Christoph Denner Family

Johann Christoph Denner was born in to a family of Instrument Makers and horn-tuners. Johann’s father, Heinrich Denner, a maker of game whistles and hunting horns, moved to Nuremberg Germany in the year 1666. It was around this time  J. C. Denner went into business as an instrument maker and was granted rights for the “manufacture of French musical instruments consisting chiefly of oboes and recorders. Denner’s sons, Jacob and Johann David , also became instrument builders. At least sixty-eight instruments attributed to Johann Denner have survived to the present day, although the surviving instruments with the Denner name are believed to have come from his sons’ workshops.

Johann Christoph Denner

Although Johann Christoph Denner based the clarinet on an earlier instrument called the chalumeau, his new instrument made such important changes that it really could not be called an evolution.

 

Jacob Denner

Jacob Denner

Jacob Denner son of Johann Christoph Denner

Balthasar Denner

Balthasar Denner

Balthasar Denner was a German portrait painter 

Notable People

Notable People who share the Denner Name