The Wind Instruments
|(Ger. blockflote; It. flauto; Fr. flute douce): Recorders were popular in Europe from the 12th to the mid-18th centuries because of their pleasant sound and ease of playing. They are essentially like simple whistles, with the bore tapering gradually toward the bottom. Recorders were made in "families" or "consorts" (matched sets) of up to 8 sizes, including great bass, bass, tenor, alto, soprano and sopranino.|
|(Ger. krummhorn): The name of this instrument translates, logically enough, as "curved horn." It has a cylindrical bore and produces a soft buzzing sound. Crumhorns were commonly made in families of 4 and were popular in the 16th and early 17th centuries.|
|The cylindrical bore of the kortholt goes down one side of the instrument, turns and comes back up the other side, so the bore is really twice as long as the instrument itself. This is the meaning of the name "kortholt," which translates as "short wood." This instrument is like a doubled-up crumhorn, making it possible to achieve very low notes because of the longer bore. It was used in the 16th and 17th centuries, and is characterized by a muffled, buzzing sound.|
|(also Eng. curtal; It. fagotto): This instrument has a doubled-back bore (cf. kortholt) which is conical in shape. It was developed in the mid-16th century, and was made in several sizes. The bass was the most popular, and it evolved into the modern bassoon. The instrument's name refers to its mellow ("dulcet") tone.|
|A deceivingly small woodwind instrument that plays exceedingly low notes. Its deep notes are the result of a clever internal construction in which the instrument's bore bends back and forth many times inside the relatively short and stubby form. The rackett produces an unusual buzzing tone produced by a double reed -- somewhat like a contrabass comb-and-tissue-paper, if such a thing existed.|
(Ger. zink; It. cornetto): This completely extinct wooden instrument is lip-vibrated like the modern trumpet or cornet, but is fingered like a recorder and is normally played from the side of the mouth. The curved cornett is covered wit black leather and has a separate mouthpiece, whereas the softer-sounding straight version, the mute cornett is made entirely from a single piece of unadorned wood. Cornetts were used from the 10th to the 18th centuries.