Shawm [scalmuse, shalm, shalmie, schalmuse]
(from Lat. calamus: ‘reed’; Fr. chalemelle, chalemie, chelemele; Ger. Schalmei, Schalmey; It. cialamella, ciaramella, piffaro; Lat. celimela, gingrina, tibia; Sp. chirimía, xirimía).
A woodwind instrument, usually with a double reed. The term ‘shawm’ has developed more than one meaning; since Hornbostel and Sachs (‘Systematik der Musikinstrumente’, 1914) it has been used as a generic term denoting both single-reed and double-reed aerophones, but in organological literature it is applied for the sake of precision to double-reed instruments only, many of whose names are linguistically related to ‘shawm’ (e.g. the Arab zamr, the Turkish zūrnā, the Persian surnāy, the Chinese suona, the Javanese saruni and the Hindu sahanai/sanayi). This article is concerned with European types (for non-European types, see Oboe, §I, 1), primarily with the shawm as the double-reed instrument extensively used in European art music from the 12th century to the 17th and reappearing in the early music revival of the 20th. It was made in many different sizes.
The larger sizes of European shawm also became known as ‘bombarde’ or ‘bumbard’ (from Lat. bombus, ‘drone, buzz’; It. bombardo, Ger. Pumhart or Pommer), a term deriving from a medieval artillery piece. The distinction already present in German in the middle of the 14th century between ‘schalmigen und bumbart’ (Strassburg, 1322) did not occur in English of the period, where all sizes were usually called ‘shawm’ or ‘hoboy’ indiscriminately. In fact there are some indications that the Pommer had an independent type of construction used only for instruments in the lower registers. During the 15th century the term ‘hautbois’ (from Fr., literally ‘high wood’) was also applied to the higher instrument, although it was transferred in the late 17th century to the newly developed oboe; an analogous term for lower ones was ‘grosbois’. English also had the term ‘wayghte’ or ‘waits pipe’ (still used for the English shawm by James Talbot, MS c1695, GB-Och Mus.1187), named after the city watchman’s duty of sounding the hours. In late medieval Germany and the Low Countries the term Rauschpfeife was sometimes used for the shawm both with and without a wind cap. For discussion of shawms with wind caps, see Wind-cap instruments, §2.
Praetorius illustration with 5 shawms on the top right
As no original pre-16th-century instruments have been preserved, it is necessary to resort (with due caution) to modern folk survivals and to iconographical evidence for clues as to the early form and history of the shawm. Even the few later instruments that have survived are difficult to date and to classify in accordance with the diversity of original terminology whose meaning is not always clear. It is difficult to reconstruct playing practices from the meagre written documentation, and misleading concepts have become entrenched from attempts to reintroduce the shawm consort by 20th-century early music groups. A thorough history of the shawm and of shawm playing has not yet been written.
Shawms were made of various hardwoods, often maple. They have a conical bore expanding into a bell and are usually made in one piece, except the larger instruments which consist of several sections fitted together. They generally have little external ornamentation and are cylindrical or slightly tapered in outline. Internally, the bore is conical for some four-fifths of its length. The instruments have seven finger-holes at the front; in the larger instruments the lowest hole is closed by a key which operates inside a protective, slide-on wooden barrel (Fr. fontanelle) perforated by small holes, arranged in ornamental patterns, to let the sound through (fig.1). Below the lowest finger-holes there are several vent-holes to correct the effect of the acoustically overlong bell section (which is necessary for tonal stability), and in some original instruments to make the production of diatonically descending extension notes possible by closing them.
As a rule these instruments, apart from the lowest ones, were played with a pirouette (Fr., also Rosette, Engl. ‘fliew’); although only a few original pirouettes have been preserved, Mersenne (Harmonie universelle, 1636–7) and Talbot both gave precise descriptions of their nature. They were usually made of turned wood in a cup shape with a flat or slightly concave top (fig.2). The double reed was placed on a staple (a conical brass tube), which in turn was fitted into the pirouette so as to leave the upper part of the reed clear. The lower part of the staple is wound with thread and fitted into the neck of the shawm. The player’s lips could rest against the top of the pirouette, supporting the embouchure against fatigue and allowing the reed to vibrate freely inside the mouth, or the reed could be subject to direct lip control thus allowing variable sound production. The many depictions of a musical ensemble in which one shawm player is resting illustrates the strain placed on the lips in performance (see fig.8 below). The reeds were probably shorter and somewhat broader than those of modern double-reed instruments, although with a wider opening. However, such details as whether they were bound to a sleeve or constructed on a dummy are not known.
The few early accounts of the sound of the shawm suggest that it was extremely loud and powerful. As early as 1350 Konrad von Megenburg said that the ‘bombina’ is so called because ‘it buzzes with a great trumpet blast or din of sound’. In 1588 Arbeau (Orchésographie, f.23v–24) commented that ‘the “haulbois” greatly resemble trumpets, and they make a very pleasing consonance, when the large ones play in the lower octave … with the little “haulbois” playing in the upper octave’. Consequently, he continued, they are ‘good for making a loud noise, such as is needed for village feasts and large gatherings’. Praetorius (Syntagma musicum, ii, 2/1619) suggested that the Latin term ‘Gingrina’ for the treble instrument refers to ‘the sound it makes, like a goose’ (from Lat. gingrire: ‘cackling’). In 1636 Mersenne wrote of shawms that ‘they make the loudest and the fiercest sound of all the instruments, with the exception of the trumpet’. Depending on the reed and the manner of playing, the instrument could produce an open and brilliant sound, which accounts for the popularity of the shawm over many centuries.
The works of Virdung (Musica getutscht, 1511) and Martin Agricola (Musica instrumentalis deudsch, 1529), which contain drawings of shawms, mention only two sizes: a Schalmey, and a Bombardt pitched a 5th lower. Tinctoris (De inventione et usu musicae, iii, c1483), however, had already recognized three sizes of the tibia or celimela, describing them as suprema, tenor or bombardam and contratenor, terms previously used in a list of a consignment of instruments sent from Bruges to the Burgundian court in 1423. Table 1 shows the shawm family of the 16th and 17th centuries as described by Praetorius in 1619 (fig.3) and illustrated by surviving instruments, for example in collections in Berlin (Musikinstrumenten-Museum; fig.4) and Prague (National Museum) and in Salamanca Cathedral. As in many wind families, shawms were built at intervals of a 5th from each other, which can lead to problems of intonation in ensemble playing. Praetorius therefore suggested additional instruments in a series of alternating 5ths and 4ths. It is important to note, however, that normally only two or three members of the family were played together at any one time, and not the whole family, as was sometimes practised in the 20th-century revival in shawm playing.
TABLE 1: Names and approximate sizes of 16th- and 17th-century shawms
gar klein Discant
g–d'' (1 key)
c–g' (1 key)
G/A/B/c–f'/g' (4 keys)
C/D/E/F–c' (4 keys)
F'/G'/A'/B'–f (4 keys)
The gar klein Discant Schalmeye is mentioned only by Praetorius, presumably because of the problems caused by both its short length and its impractical diatonic disposition a 5th above the treble; there is a rare 16th-century example in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. The treble shawm (Discant Schalmey) is the main descant instrument of the family. The seventh hole, placed on the side to accommodate the little finger, is duplicated left and right to allow the player to choose which hand is held uppermost; the unused hole is plugged with wax. With all finger-holes covered the treble shawm sounds d'. The top note given by Praetorius is b'' and by Mersenne d''' (dessus haut-bois); the difference may result from a different reed, mode of playing and perhaps from the absence of a pirouette. Fingering is like that of the recorder or cornett, except for the absence of a thumb-hole, since here the octave break is controlled by the lips, air pressure and the reed alone. The instrument's best diatonic scale is G major, which nonetheless involves cross-fingering for g', g'', c'' and d''. Hence Praetorius’s recommendation that when treble shawms are used the music should be transposed from the customary C or F into G (f' is in any event difficult to produce accurately on shawms with d' as the lowest note).
The alto shawm and all instruments below it were known by the term ‘bombarde’ (Ger. Pommer, Pumhart). Instead of the treble's duplicated hole for the little finger, the alto has a brass key to cover the hole, protected by a fontanelle (see fig.1). Its tone is mellower than that of the treble shawm, a result of different principles of construction which indicate that it was originally an independent instrument. There is still some uncertainty about the significance of numerous representations of shawms from the late 14th century to the middle of the 15th, depicting the final section from the end of the flare to the bell as cylindrical (cf Duffin, 1997–8). As an extant instrument in Berlin shows (fig.4b), the alto shawm could sometimes be fitted with additional keys to extend its range, as was usual for the deeper instruments, the basset, bass and great bass shawm. Here the little finger controls two keys at the front of the instrument, and the remaining two keys are at the back, operated by the thumb (with a covering protecting the longer keys extending below the fontanelle). The lower instruments were played with an S-shaped crook; there is no evidence of a pirouette. Because of their great length and weight the lowest shawms were played with the bell resting on the ground. Their tone is more powerful than that of any other woodwind instrument in the same register, and consequently bass shawms continued in use later than the other members of the family to reinforce the bass register (see §3 below).
In addition Praetorius mentioned a Basset Pommer in c called a ‘Nicolo’ and provided with only one extension key, as a supplement to the described family. In contradiction to this, his illustration shows an instrument that had three extension keys and a thumb-hole and that was played with a wind cap. It was probably an instrument with a cylindrical bore, a kind of straight bass crumhorn. Such an instrument was described in an inventory of the Hofkapelle in Kassel in 1613: ‘a long straight Basset of the crumhorns’. Other scholars have suggested this instrument could be a kind of Schreyerpfeife or Hautbois de Poitou (see Kinsky, 1925, and Weber and Van der Meer, 1972). In this context it is striking that Praetorius’s illustration of the Diskant Schalmey and the Basset oder Tenor-Pommer shows the possibility that wind caps could be used on these instruments. Using a wind cap would not permit overblowing, and would thus limit the compass of the instrument to a 9th (see Wind-cap instruments).
In contrast to Praetorius's great variety of sizes, Mersenne knew only three different sizes of ‘haut-bois’; the dessus (lowest note c'), the taille (g) and the basse (C); each with a range of two octaves. However, there are indications that up to the middle of the 17th century there was another French size, the haute-contre, between the dessus and the taille. The comments made by James Talbot (op.cit.) on shawms and their construction provide some interesting details. In writing on the ‘hautbois’ he distinguished between the ‘English or Waits’ instrument (with treble c'–b'' and tenor f–f'', that is, respectively a tone lower than Praetorius’s Discant Schalmey and Alt Pommer), and the new ‘French hautbois’. He also mentioned a ‘Schalmey’ (see §4 below).
Shawms were probably of ancient origin and reached Europe from the Islamic East during the 9th to the 12th centuries at the latest. Medieval sources present problems: no instruments survive, and illustrations are seldom unambiguous. Terms such as the Latin tibia or musa and the German pfeifen can be used for very different kinds of wind instruments. Although shawms are illustrated in manuscripts dating from the late 12th century, clearer depictions are found in early 14th-century sources (e.g. the Cantigas de Santa Maria of Alfonso el Sabio, E-E T.j.1, b.I.2, and the Manessische Liederhandschrift, D-Hu Pal.germ.848). Such instruments were usually small (fig.5), similar in appearance to many of the shawm's oriental counterparts (e.g. the Persian sornā and North African ghayta). The medieval use of the shawm in courtly and civic music accompanied by drum and trumpets (e.g. in the city of Siena in 1252 an ensemble of three trumpets, cialamella and drum is documented) reflects a Turco-Arab practice perhaps adopted during extensive trading contacts or in the Crusades. The extent to which the shawm itself followed an oriental model is impossible to judge, but it seems likely that such non-oriental features as the missing thumb-hole and the specific material and construction of the double reed may have origins in the Western technology associated with the Bagpipe.
In 14th-century illustrations longer shawms began to be portrayed, and the bombarde was first described in literary sources as accompanying the higher chalemie (e.g. Jean Le Fèvre's Respit de la mort, 1386, mentions ‘musez et challemellez et grossez bombardez nouvellez’). Because of the greater length of this instrument a key was added; this is clearly shown in illustrations by the early 15th century (fig.6). The pitch of a 5th below the treble shawm was first specified by Agricola in his fingering diagrams (1529), but no doubt it had been standard throughout the 15th century, when the principal wind-instrument combination of the hault menestrels was shawm (for the treble part), bombarde (for the tenor) and bombarde or trumpet (or slide trumpet; for the contratenor). An order for instruments by Philip the Good of Burgundy, from Bruges in 1423, illustrates such an ensemble, calling for two bombardes a clef, one contre and two chalemies, and a trumpet to be played with them. The presence of a contre in the order confirms the fact, for which there is much other evidence, that the contratenor part was performed on a bombarde (in 1406, for instance, Niccolo d'Allemagna was hired in Florence as a player of ceremella contra tenorem). This type of ensemble, playing ‘loud music’ (see Alta (i)), accompanied major ceremonies, led processions and played for the basse danse. The shawm's further versatility may be seen from many illustrations portraying shawms (possibly a douçaine, or ‘styll shawm’ as it is called in the court records at the beginning of Henry VIII’s reign; see Dolzaina) played in a ‘soft’ consort with fiddle, lute and harp (fig.7). Shawm players were therefore central not only to court music but particularly to medieval town music (e.g. as played by the German Stadtpfeifer).
There is an indication of the instrument's musical potential in two late 14th-century songs by the Monk of Salzburg (‘Das nachthorn’ and ‘Das taghorn’; A-Wn 2856); the manuscript provides notation for a second part and carries the comment that the simple counterpoint may be played on a wind instrument: ‘Das Ist der pumhart darzu’. Chronicling the Duke of Burgundy's wedding in 1468, De La Marche (Mémoires, 1562, p.369) related that a motet was performed by ‘les haulz menestriers’ on three ‘schalmayes’ (which would have included bombardes) and a ‘trompette saicqueboute’ (trombone or slide trumpet). The use of the shawm in complex art music is confirmed by Tinctoris in his statement that any composition could be played on the instrument if its holes were correctly placed.
The growing musical literacy of wind musicians and their ability to arrange and perform written polyphonic compositions is demonstrated in a treatise written for the Berne Stadtpfeifer in 1491 (Tütsche musica, MS, CH-BEsu Hist.Helv.LI.76). Although Jean Chalier de Gerson (De canticorum originali ratione, before 1426) stated that in church the organ was only rarely joined by shawms, the practice of shawms playing motets together with cornets and trombones is documented, for example, in Mantua at the end of the 15th century (the repertory performed there is possibly that preserved in collections like F-Pn Rés.Vm7.676, or I-Bc Q18).
Information given by Martin Agricola (1529) indicates that in the 15th century shawms transposed their music ‘alla alta’, i.e. a 5th higher than written. An echo of this practice may be preserved in various instructions found in 16th-century sources of shawm music, e.g. ‘notate in clave da sonare’, ‘alla quarta bassa’ or ‘alta’. Praetorius also described the pragmatic transposition of compositions when they fell below the compass of the instruments.
During the 16th century the shawm family was extended by the invention of larger instruments, and the bombarde began to be referred to as the alto shawm (the contratenor and bass roles being taken by a lower instrument). The first documentary evidence of shawms in five sizes comes from the Nuremberg woodwind instrument maker Sigmund Schnitzer the elder in 1539: besides a grossen Pumhart he mentions the vagant, thenor, discant and klain pumhart, which, except for the high treble, can be identified with the sizes listed by Praetorius. A so-called ‘bass pwmhart’ mentioned in an Augsburg town band inventory of 1540 had only one key and may (by later standards) have been hardly larger than a basset shawm. But no doubt the ‘dobbele bombaerde’ which the town of Ghent acquired in 1551 was a real bass, for ‘twee bassetten’ arrived with it, completing the ensemble already consisting of ‘twee boven sanghen ende twee teneuren scalmeye’. In England one of the York waits added a ‘Base Shalme’ in 1546. While there was a movement during the 16th century towards blended ensembles of strings, cornetts, trombones and organs, shawms remained popular for ceremonial music at court and in town bands. A French court band (later called ‘les Douze Grands Hautbois de l'Ecurie ou même de la chambre’), instituted under Louis XIII, is documented as having two shawms and two cornetts on the two treble parts (their exact disposition is not recorded), four alto shawms for the haute-contre and taille parts (perhaps with an intermediate size, probably in A), two trombones for the basse-taille and two bass shawms on the basse; all the musicians could also play the violin. Part of their repertory is preserved in the first volume of the Philidor Collection (F-Pn Rés.F671 and F-V 1163). In London, James I and his successors had a similar band with at least six musicians (‘Hoboies and Sagbuttes’), but its precise composition is not known (see LafontaineKM). A similar number is found in civic music: Denijs van Alsloot's painting of an Antwerp religious procession in 1616 (fig.9) shows a six-piece band consisting of shawm, cornett, two tenor shawms, trombone and curtal. Examples of the typical repertory of a South German Stadtpfeifer band of the second half of the 16th century have survived in manuscript (D-Rp MS A.R. 775–777), consisting of motets, chansons etc. in four to six parts by Lassus, Striggio, Andrea Gabrieli and others. About that time the curtal (or dulcian; see Bassoon, §3) was often used to play the bass part, as for instance in the collection of J.C. Pezel, Bicinia variorum instrumentorum … cum appendice a 2 Bombardinis vulgo Schalmeyen e Fagotto (Leipzig, 1675). A similar combination was found in the ‘oboe ensemble’ of the Prussian army from 1646 (at the latest) to the 18th century, with two shawms, one alto and a bass dulcian.
While such shawm bands continued in existence, however, there was a perceptible disintegration of the consort during the course of the 17th century with the higher instruments being developed into different types and the lower ones used among ensembles of other instruments. Praetorius's directions for the instrumentation of canzonas and motets (Syntagma Musicum, iii, 1618) clearly show the reduced status of the shawm consort at the beginning of the century, reflecting changing aesthetic expectations. Praetorius – apart from noting the use of the bass and great bass shawm with other deep instruments in choirs of low tessitura – mentioned the shawm consort only briefly, and commented on the problems created by shawms in consort being at intervals of a 5th from one another. He recommended omitting the high shawms and playing all the music a 4th lower, with the Altpommer at the top. J.H. Schein's ‘Hosianna dem Sohne David’ (Opella nova, 1626) contains spirited ritornellos for ‘bombardi’, apparently two tenors and one bass shawm. The manner of playing the treble shawm began to change too, not least when the pirouette fell into disuse, and it was the point of departure for the new oboe as played at the French court (see Oboe, §II, 2).
Although by 1700 even most provincial waits in England were replacing their shawms with the new oboes and bassoons, shawms remained in use in some places longer than elsewhere, particularly north of the Alps, and especially the deeper Pommer sizes. They still featured in Stadtpfeiferei to the end of the 18th century. Goethe wrote an account (in Dichtung und Wahrheit, 1811) of the anachronistic procession of the Nuremberg Stadtpfeifer with Schalmei and Pommer in the second half of the 18th century, on its way to the Pfeifergericht, an annual confirmation of trading privileges. Two instruments used then, made by Jacob Denner and either Johann Christoph Denner or a successor, are preserved in the Frankfurt Historisches Museum, and there is an example of their music in Fries’s treatise (1752). Praetorius had already recommended the doubling of bass lines an octave lower with ‘SubBassgeigen, Octav-Posaun, Doppel-Fagotten und gar grossen Bass-Pommern’; Basspommern were used in Germany until the end of the 18th century to reinforce the bass register (an example is the ‘Schallmeyen-Bass’ in the Marienkirche, Halle, used by W.F. Bach). Not surprisingly, therefore, a relatively large number of low shawms are extant, and some of a late date of manufacture (for instance, instruments made by I.G. Strehli after the mid-18th century).
The shawms used in Protestant areas of Switzerland between about 1750 and 1810 are a special case. They were of rather unusual structure, for use in an ensemble of treble and tenor with bassoon to accompany the psalms in divine service, and prefigured the heckelphone (see Hautbois d’église).
From the end of the 19th century copies of early shawms were occasionally built to complete the collections of some museums (by makers such as Wilhelm Heckel or the workshop of Victor-Charles Mahillon). Towards the middle of the 20th century more interest in the making and playing of historical instruments arose. Prominent makers and performers include Rainer Weber, who made his first instruments in Hamburg in 1947 before moving to Bayerbach, Bavaria in 1960, and the bassoon player Otto Steinkopf, who worked at the Berlin Instrument Collection of the Institut für Musikforschung before moving to Celle to work with the firm of Hermann Moeck. Early attempts at making reproduction shawms were orientated towards the needs of amateur early music groups and their experiences with recorder playing, which resulted in compromises of construction (with additional keywork, plastic reeds, etc.) and performance, particularly in the simultaneous use of all members of the family. Greater interest in historical evidence after the 1970s led to some makers and players becoming authoritative specialists in these instruments.
Parallel to the gradual development of the oboe during the second half of the 17th century, a distinct type of oboe existed; since A.C. Baines wrote about it (1957) it has been described as the deutsche Schalmey. This term is also to be found in contemporary sources, for instance the Naumburg inventory of instruments of 1720, and was obviously used at the time to distinguish it from the French oboe, and perhaps to indicate its comparatively high pitch. In musical sources from Germany and the Habsburg territories the term employed is usually piffaro, for instance in music manuscripts from Kremsier (now Kroměříž). Baines suggested that the deutsche Schalmey might be regarded as ‘a German attempt at a quick answer to the new French oboe’; a more recent interpretation is that the Schalmey may represent a survival of the earliest form of the prototypical oboe developed in France, one that found a musical niche in the German-speaking area, especially in military Hautboisten-Banden beginning in the 1640s. The Schalmey and oboe seem to have co-existed rather than being in competition, to judge by the fact that many instrument makers such as Richard Haka in Amsterdam and Christian Schlegel in Basle made both types. The Schalmey demanded a less specialized embouchure than the oboe. A great many compositions specify two or three pifferi.
Talbot remarked that the instrument he described as a ‘(Saxon) Schameye’ was ‘used Much in German Army. Sweeter than Hautbois [i.e. shawm]. Several sizes & pitches.’ The instrument was made in two sections; it was slender by comparison with the shawm and the oboe and had considerably thinner walls, a narrow and often roughly turned bore, and smaller finger-holes. Two sizes, treble and tenor, were made and each was provided with a fontanelle, although only in the tenors did this cover a key: on the treble instruments it was non-functional, as it covered two or more ventholes (Talbot says that they ‘would add a Note if stopd’). The range of the treble is given by Talbot as c'–c''', and the tenor a 5th lower; chromatic tones depend on the kind of reed and manner of playing. The instruments could either have a pirouette or (like the shawm at this date) be blown without one.
A feature of the deutsche Schalmey intended for outdoor use (which 17th-century makers in Amsterdam called the velt-Schelmey) is the presence of devices fitted to the bell into which the reeds and sometimes the pirouette could be kept for ease of transport; these appear both in pictorial records and on surviving instruments. A Schalmey made by Christian Schlegel (c1667–1746) in the Basle Historisches Museum has a loosely fitted wooden pin with thickened ends fitted in the cup and extending into the bore; depending on its position, it could function as a drone.
At the beginning of the 18th century the Schalmey disappeared. Fleming said in 1726 that as it was ‘difficult to blow, and struck the ear unpleasantly in the higher register’ it had been replaced almost everywhere by the ‘French hautbois’. Eisel (1738) did not describe it at all, saying merely that it belonged to the outdated group of ‘rustic instruments’. However, it remained in use in rural areas for some time longer: it was described disparagingly as a ‘boorish Schalmey’ by J.C. Weigel (Musicalisches Theatrum, c1720).
Various attempts have been made to revive the concept of the shawm in Germany. From the late 19th century until the 1930s several German firms made simple oboes in a high register (with one to six keys), which were called deutsche Schalmey. A similar French instrument, called the musette, began to be developed in the 1830s (see Musette (2)). The Tristan Schalmei, combining characteristics of the shawm and the musette, was designed by Wilhelm Heckel in 1904 for a performance of Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. The term Schalmei was also used for a type of free-reed instrument worked with piston valves, also called Martinstrompete after its inventor Max Bernhardt Martin of Markneukirchen.
In Catalonia and Roussillon in particular Western shawms have never relinquished their place in civic music. The scores of the 18th-century Catalan villancicos sometimes contain parts for treble and tenor xirimías (now known simply as tiple (treble) and tenora, and modernized with complete keywork in different layouts), the principal melodists in the present-day sardana band or cobla. The tiple is in F, a 4th above the oboe, and has a compass of d' to a'''. The tenora is in B with a compass of e to c'''. Each has a pirouette (tudel) and a broad triangular reed. The dynamic range, from piano to fortissimo, exceeds that of any other existing woodwind instruments (see Besseler, 1949, and Baines, 1952; for illustration, see France, fig.16e, and Spain, fig.7).
The Spanish dulzaina (or pito) and the Catalan gralla, smaller shawm-like instruments, were apparently developed independently and in a rural context. Such shawms were taken to America from the early 16th century onwards and are still played there. The demand for the dulzaina in Castile and León led to the manufacture of various models with keywork, and in the last decades of the 20th century there has been a revival in making and playing these instruments (music examples are in Ledesma). Bands of players are now a common feature of town and village fiestas.
The Breton bombarde (see France, fig.16d) and south Italian ciaramella or piffaro (see Italy, fig.22), though they bear former shawm names and may be classified for convenience as traditional shawms, belong more strictly to the class of separate chanters played with bagpipe accompaniment, like the 17th-century Hautbois de Poitou (first mentioned in 1635 by Mersenne, Harmonicorum libri, xii) which could be played with a wind cap and was accompanied by a cornemuse de Poitou. A consort of three hautbois de Poitou and one cornemuse was brought to Paris around 1600 when pastoral arts became fashionable there. The group continued to perform at Versailles beyond the reign of Louis XIV and appears to have played in a ‘Menuet pour les hautbois de Poitevins’ in the ‘Ballet des nations’ with which Lully ended his music for Le bourgeois gentilhomme (1670); it retained its identity for many years, even after wind-cap instruments in general fell into disuse. It is last recorded in a document of 1733.
A variety of the true shawm – the Wendish tarakava – survived in Hungary (as the tárogató) and in Wendish parts of Germany until the 19th century. In Hungarian the term Tárogató occurs as early as the 16th century for reed instruments in general, and in a narrower sense for the shawm adopted from the Turks; a new type, but in the form of a clarinet, was developed by V.J. Schunda at the beginning of the 19th century. Still played today (especially on the island of Krk) is the sopila of the Croatian littoral; it is used in two sizes, played together largely in consecutive 6ths and 7ths (description and music examples in Brömse, 1937).
Two instruments of south-east Europe – the pipiza, still played by some shepherds in mainland Greece, and the larger zurla of the Macedonian Gypsies – are characterized by a thumb-hole placed lower on the pipe than the highest finger-hole, and by a loose lip-disc and soft reed, and are thus related to Turkish shawms. In Turkey the davul and zurna (drum and shawm) ensemble is traditionally used for dancing, festivals and circumcision ceremonies; the players of the zurna practise the continuous-breathing technique, which may also have been used in playing the European shawm.
MersenneHU; MGG2 (‘Doppelrohrblattinstrumente’, A. Masel); PraetoriusSM, ii; PraetoriusTI
M. Agricola: Musica instrumentalis deudsch (Wittenberg, 1529/R, enlarged 5/1545)
J.C. Weigel: Musicalisches Theatrum (Nuremberg, c1720/R1961 in DM, 1st ser., xxii)
G. Kinsky: ‘Doppelrohrblatt-Instrumente mit Windkapsel’, AMw, vii (1925), 253–96
P. Brömse: Flöten, Schalmeien und Sackpfeifen Südslawiens (Brno, 1937/R)
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