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Leblanc-Noblet History

French manufacturer of clarinets since 1750

The origins of Company LEBLANC Company go back more than 250 years, beginning with the creation of the NOBLET Company.

In 1750 France was a monarchy under the reign of Louis XV, Napoleon was not born yet and 26 years later, the 13 British colonies of North America declare their independence.

At that time, Denis NOBLET’s creation of a small factory making wind instruments appeared to have little, if any, importance.
But today, more than 250 years later, having survived the French revolution, the Napoleonic Empire with its triumphs and its defeats on the battlefields of Europe, and two World Wars, the name NOBLET is older than the United States of America!

Denis NOBLET chose to create this family company in the Normandy village of SEAM BOUSSEY, considered as “the cradle of wind instruments”. The site was selected because the area was covered with boxwood forests. Indeed, at that time, clarinets, oboes and flutes were made out of boxwood (“boussey” in local patois); and approximately half of the population of the village worked in the manufacture of wind instruments.

Later, when the boxwood became scarce, it was replaced by ebony coming from Africa, which continues to be the case in SEAM BOUSSEY. Nowadays, the manufacture of instruments NOBLET and LEBLANC remains and has made the LEBLANC company the oldest manufacturer of clarinets in the world.

After Denis NOBLET, the company was directed by Nicolas Denis NOBLET, Nicolas Prudent NOBLET and Denis Toussaint NOBLET. This last, not having a heir, sells his company to his best workman Georges LEBLANC in 1904. He then begins the 20th century with the rich personal heritage based in the “savoir faire” of NOBLET family.

Georges LEBLANC, excellent technician and clarinetist, endeavored to modernize manufacture. He associated with an invaluable collaborator: his son Leon, winner of “premier prix de clarinette” of the Higher National Academy of Music of Paris. From the beginning of their success with the NOBLET instruments, they decide together to create a new range of high-qualit instruments intended for the artists. Thus is born the marque, LEBLANC, in 1921.

There are from the beginning many technical and acoustic improvements, (clétage en ligne grâce aux clés en forme de pont; levier double Mib; double chalumeau sur les clarinettes Alto et Basse). With the assistance of the famous acoustics expert Charles Houvenaghel, they develop the complete family of “clarinettes de la sopranino en Lab aigu à la contrebasse à l'Ut grave”. Leon LEBLANC never patented his inventions because all the innovations were intended to improve the comfort of play for the artist and he wanted to share them with the other manufacturers so that all the musicians can profit.

In 1946, family LEBLANC creates a subsidiary company in the USA with Vito PASCUCCI, young violin maker and experienced musician playing in the orchestra of Glenn MILLER. Thus is born the company LEBLANC Corp which distributes NOBLET and LEBLANC clarinets in the USA; Vito PASCUCCI also eventually purchased the MARTIN and HOLTON factories, and then promotes the NOBLET and the LEBLANC clarinets as the best on the market.

In April 1989, Leon LEBLANC, without an heir, sells his company to his friend and American associate, Vito PASCUCCI. The passion and respect that Vito PASCUCCI has for the craftmanship and traditional French savoir-faire, made it possible to perpetuate an artisanal manufacturing process of NOBLET and LEBLANC clarinets.

LEBLANC attached to the choice of wood a paramount importance. The quality of wood coming from Mozambique where the growth of the ebony trees is naturally protected from pollution by the winds coming from the Indian Ocean and whose harvesting is regulated by Fauna and Flora International (which ensures the continuation of the species); as well as natural drying in the buildings of LEBLANC lasting at least 18 months, and more according to the models, guarantee a remarkable quality of wood (LEBLANC can be enorgueillir of an annual rate of cracking of less than 2%) and an exceptional sonority which made that one speaks about famous “Leblanc Sound”. In addition, the constant improvements for the comfort of play of the musician and the permanent research of the technical and acoustic perfection make LEBLANC a leader in the worldwide market, in the development of instruments of very high quality.

After the death of Vito PASCUCCI, his son Leon (Leon Noblet's namesake) decides to sell his company to CONN-SELMER, USA and, since 2004, the LEBLANC Co., under the direction of CONN-SELMER USA, is in fact part of STEINWAY Group.

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