The Boehm System
is a relatively recent system of fingerings (mid to late 1800s) used on a variety of woodwind instruments, including the clarinet
, and flute
. It replaces the older Albert system, and is known predominantly for simplifying the progression of fingerings as one moves up and down the scale. The idea is that one should be able to start at the bottom of the scale by putting all keys down, then move up the scale chromatically
by simply removing one finger at a time. In reality, of course, this is only partially realized. The saxophone probably comes closest to the ideal, having fewer irregular fingerings than the clarinet; and a true octave key
, which neither the clarinet nor the flute possesses.