Definition of chalumeau in English:



  • 1A reed instrument of the early 18th century from which the clarinet was developed.

    • ‘He even has information on the chalumeau d' amore!’
    • ‘It was developed from the chalumeau by J. C. Denner in Nuremberg in about 1700.’
    • ‘The chalumeau instrument was designed to have a good chalumeau register with an almost nonexistent clarinet register.’
    • ‘Early clarinets did not play well in the lower register, so chalumeaus continued to be made to play the low notes and these notes became known as the chalumeau register.’
    1. 1.1 The lowest octave of the clarinet's range.
      • ‘On top of hissing electronic flutters, one reedist begins by expelling delicate breaths until they gather into chalumeau register tones, while the other quacks and flutter tongues.’
      • ‘Some of the solos are scored primarily in the chalumeau register, with only brief extensions in the clarion register.’
      • ‘The limitation to the chalumeau register has been made at the specific request of a clarinet teacher.’
      • ‘This piece is entirely within the chalumeau register and is about a grade 1 standard.’
      • ‘Students should have an appropriate level of technique before enrolling: a good basic sound, ability to play comfortably and fluently in the middle and chalumeau registers, with some experience of the altissimo register.’
      • ‘These short pieces, partly original compositions and partly transcriptions from my own music for other instruments, are suitable for beginners and are all situated within the chalumeau register.’
      • ‘The effect of volume on timbre is most pronounced in the chalumeau register.’
      • ‘Katz's woody chalumeau register also lent depth and a hint of menace to the sinister, lurching ‘March’ and the slow, fantasia-like ‘Nigun.’’
      • ‘The Adagio is in A-flat, dipping into the clarinet's low, chalumeau register and the through leaps and runs which it shares with the flute and bassoon.’
      • ‘We still refer to the lowest register of the clarinet as the chalumeau register.’


Early 18th century: from French, from Latin calamellus ‘little reed’, diminutive of calamus.