The main and essential instrument that interprets the folk music songs is arguably the Clarinet. The Clarinet belongs to the category of Wind Instruments. The Flute however, is a very ancient instrument of this type, referred to in Homer’s Iliad. The first explorer of the Pan Flute brought in antiquity, who, after assembling 9-7 reeds built called him «Syrinx of Pan».
From ancient times to 1690 AD the category of wind instruments had prevailed with the Flute variants and were played by musicians who were called pipers. Variations were the flute, the bagpipe, the Pipiza the jamming, the Bagpipe and more.
In the year 1690 there appears Clarinet Efthyaflos or as it is called in the Greek language. The inventor of the clarinet is reportedly the German John Christopher Ntenner from Nuremberg. His invention was the result of processing on the French musical instrument called the Chalumeau. In the history of the Chalumeau according to sources from the French encyclopaedias the name is derived from a Greek word. And the word is Chalumeau Kalamos. Kalamos was a musical instrument of the family of flutes (Avlos). Thus the clarinet has some Greek roots.
In essence however it is a European invention by the German Ntenner after being completed by Stadler, Muller and Klose French (1730), it has become the nice instrument we know today. It should also be noted that although the clarinet was discovered in 1690, it immediately prevailed in Europe. The use of Chalumeau was common and by the year 1750, clarinets were playing widely in European Symphony Orchestras. As regards our country it took some more time.
It is undeniable that the first clarinets played in Epirus and even in the palaces and harems of the Passa Beys and Agas by Greek musicians and it was known under the name “compania”. Violin, lute, tambourine, and led by a vlarino player, were members of the band called “compania”. It was also played at Greek weddings.
Before the clarinet became an instrument in entertainment and at weddings, it was originally played in Epirus in military bands and philarmonica.
After Epirus, the date of its appearance was a little before 1800, when the clarinet was placed in Thessaly, Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese and Thrace. In Athens, according to the remarkable researches of the author Despina Mazarakis, and not only was the clarinet unknown and unusual, but its use was banned until 1925.
Consequently, some authors speculate that the evidence that the clarinet was introduced into Greece from Turkey is unfounded.
This conjecture would be true if the clarinet was widespread in areas bordering Turkey, i.e. Thrace, the Aegean Islands, Crete and Cyprus. In these areas as we have said even today the clarinet is unknown.