The mouthpiece of a clarinet plays a crucial role in sound formation and tuning, and there is still great potential for research within the field of historical clarinet mouthpieces.
This study explores the relationship between mouthpiece shape and performance practice in the first half of the 19th century when significant changes occurred in clarinet history. The author examines historical mouthpieces from various collections and creates 3D-printed replicas for experimentation. The research investigates how mouthpiece shape relates to changes in reed positioning and national styles, and how 3D printing technology can aid in understanding historical mouthpiece design.
The study finds evidence of a causal relationship between changes in reed positioning and mouthpiece geometry, especially reflected in the dimension of the mouthpiece window. The creation of a functional 3D-printed historical mouthpiece and experimentation with variations in shape shed light on how different parameters of the mouthpiece geometry affect the sound response. The research offers a useful tool for historical clarinet players to choose mouthpieces in a more historically informed way.