Clarinet in B–flat, ca. 1830
Charles Joseph Sax (Belgian, 1791–1865)

- Materials: ivory, brass
- Other Notes: C. Sax is the father of Adolphe Sax, considered the father of the saxophone. Elephant-tusk ivory was a material used often for high-end instruments for the quality, tone, and construction, but [fortunately] lost popularity and is no longer used by ethical crafters.

Source: NY-MetMA

Orchestra Gothic

There is a strange, shadowy figure next to the first violin that you are afraid to look at. As far as you know, no one has ever looked at him. You think he’s called ‘the conductor’.

You are sure that there weren’t that many third violins yesterday. You look again: there’s another eight. They are multiplying too quickly to be stopped.

There is a musician behind that tuba. At least, you’re pretty sure he’s there somewhere. It can’t just be playing itself…

The french horns have defected from the rest of the brass. They’re whispering among themselves in a language you don’t understand.

You have only ever heard the first clarinet, the oboe, the first flute, and the bassoon. You don’t know why the rest of the woodwind are here. Their eyes are dead, their faces lifeless. They don’t move or make a sound.

The trumpets are chanting rhythmically, and you think they might be trying to summon some tune. 1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 3, 4… Occasionally, you hear them cursing the violins.

The strings are tuning. Always tuning… You don’t remember the last time the string section wasn’t tuning up.

You glance behind you: no percussionists. You look again, mere seconds later: thirty seven percussionists all clutching triangles.

Something is draining away at the trombonists’s souls. Probably the high notes.

Between the third violins and the percussion is an instrument that no one knows the purpose of. It is beautiful, but you don’t trust it. A… harp?

You fear that if the double bassists ever stop bowing in perfect time, the fabric of the universe will unravel.

There is a rumour around town that someone escaped from the insane asylum, and the new cellist arrived in a straight jacket.

The woodwind keep inventing new instruments to try and bring some attention to themselves. It isn’t working, and there are piles of twisted bits of wood and metals piling up next to the timps.

You have spontaneously gained the ability to speak mediocre Italian.