A single reed instrument, usually made of wood, the clarinet occupies a prominent place in music. There are several unique examples in the mim wind instruments collection. To begin with, there is the one of the earliest examples of a clarinet, bearing the trademark of another illustrious Nuremberg family, Denner. In effect, the clarinet, issuing from the earlier chalumeau, is considered to be the invention of Iohann Christoph Denner. The mim example in C, signed I. Denner, marks the first step towards the modern clarinet.
Another interesting clarinet is attributed to an Italian maker and inventor, Papalini, active in the early 19th century. The perplexing shape of this bass clarinet comes from its zigzagging air column: this makes the instrument more compact and places the finger holes closer together. Purely practical considerations and notions of design combine perfectly here.