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Encyclopedia > Shawm

The shawm was a Renaissance musical instrument of the woodwind family, made in Europe from the late 13th century until the 17th century. It was developed from the oriental zurna. It is the ancestor of the modern oboe. Raphael was famous for depicting illustrious figures of the Classical past with the features of his Renaissance contemporaries. ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... A woodwind instrument is a musical instrument in which sound is produced by blowing through a mouthpiece against an edge or by a vibrating reed, and in which the pitch is varied by opening or closing holes in the body of the instrument. ... This article is 150 kilobytes or more in size. ... (12th century - 13th century - 14th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 13th century was that century which lasted from 1201 to 1300. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... Turkish Zurna in Ottoman band For other meanings, see Zurna (disambiguation) and Surna (disambiguation) The Zurna (also called Surna) is a surnay woodwind instrument of Asia Minor used in traditional weddings along with a Davul. ... The oboe is a double reed musical instrument of the woodwind family. ...

Woman playing a bass shawm, (Tobias Stimmer ca. 1500)
Woman playing a bass shawm, (Tobias Stimmer ca. 1500)

Contents

Download high resolution version (557x688, 133 KB)bass Shawm This image was taken from a series of illustrations by Tobias Stimmer printed in the mid to late 1500s. ... Download high resolution version (557x688, 133 KB)bass Shawm This image was taken from a series of illustrations by Tobias Stimmer printed in the mid to late 1500s. ...

Origins

The shawm was called Schalmei in German, and this word is believed to derive from the Latin calamus, meaning reed or stalk. It is, however, also possible that the name comes from the Arabic salamiya or salameya, a traditional oboe from Egypt, as the European shawm seems to have been developed from similar instruments brought to Europe from the Near East during the time of the Crusades. This is borne out by the very similar names of many folk shawms used as traditional instruments in various European nations, such as the Spanish dulzaina (also known as chirimita), the Catalan shawms (xirimia, dolçaina or gralla, tible, tenora), the Portuguese charamela, and the Italian ciaramella. Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... The Siege of Antioch, from a medieval miniature painting, during the First Crusade. ... For the band, please see Dulzaina (band) The dulzaina is a Spanish double reed instrument in the oboe family. ... // There are two types of shawms commonly used in Catalonia in Northern Spain. ...


There is speculation that the instrument had originated from ancient Greece and Rome, or that the instrument returned to Europe by way of Byzantium and Asia. [1]


Construction

The shawm was a long, straight wooden instrument with a bell. It had a conical bore, was played with a double reed similar to a small bassoon reed, and produced a loud tone. The bore of a wind instrument is the interior chamber in which air is set into vibration to produce musical sounds. ... A double reed is a type of reed used to produce sound in various wind instruments. ...


Use of shawms

Instruments very much like the medieval shawm can still be heard in many countries today, played by street musicians or sometimes by military bands. The latter use would be familiar to crusaders, who often had to face massed bands of Saracen shawms and nakers, used as a psychological weapon. It must have had a profound effect, as the shawm was quickly adopted by Europeans, for dancing as well as for military purposes. The standard outdoor dance band in the fifteenth century consisted of a slide trumpet playing popular melodies, while two shawms improvised countermelodies over it. Military Band marching A military band is a group of soldiers assigned to musical duties. ... In older Western historical literature, the Saracens were the people of the Saracen Empire, another name for the Arab Caliphate under the rule of the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties. ... A naker is a small drum, of Arabic origin, and the forebearer of the European timpani (kettledrum). ... For other uses, see Dance (disambiguation). ...


By the early sixteenth century, the shawm had undergone considerable development. Its initially harsh tone was mellowed by almost doubling its length, the extra tubing acting to modify the harmonics. Its grand, majestic sound, particularly when played in consorts of several sizes, was much in demand by civic authorities, and the shawm was standard equipment for the town bands, or waits. The shawm became so closely associated with waits that it was also known as the wait-pipe. For the computer operating system, see WAITS. A band of modern-day Waits Waits or Waites were British town pipers. ... Woman playing a bass shawm, (Tobias Stimmer ca. ...


The rauschpfeife, a closely related instrument, was a capped reed instrument; like the reeds of a bagpipe or crumhorn, the instrument's double reed resided within a windcap and thus the player's mouth did not contact the reed. A sopranino rauschpfeife being played The rauschpfeife is a musical instrument of the woodwind family, originally popular in Europe in the mid-16th Century. ... A bagpipe performer in Amsterdam. ... Various Crumhorns The crumhorn is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. ...


A full consort of shawms, although it provided a truly magnificent sound, was logistically flawed, especially for processions. The soprano shawm was about two feet long, and the lower instruments increased in proportion, the bass being a monster which had to be played with the edge of its bell resting on the floor. An ingenious unknown maker devised a way of drilling two bores down a single piece of wood and joining them at the bottom, effectively producing a folded bass shawm which was half the original length, and much easier to manage. The new instrument was called either a curtal or a dulcian in England, and it became very popular as a general purpose bass instrument, even in refined settings where the higher shawms were considered inappropriate. The dulcian is a Renaissance bass woodwind instrument, with a double reed and a folded conical bore. ...


Progeny of the shawm

The oboe developed from the shawm in the mid-17th century when the French musicians Jean Hotteterre and Michel Danican Philidor modified it, producing an instrument with a narrower bore and a reed which is held by the player's lips near the end.


See also

  • Catalan shawms, modernized shawms used to accompany the Catalonian Sardana circle dance.
  • Piffero, a similar instrument from Italy which is still used in the folk music of the quattro provincie.
  • Hirtenschalmei or "shepherd's shawm"
  • Hornpipe, a similar instrument with bagpipe fingering
  • Zurna, or surnay, related wind instrument originating in Asia Minor or in Persia

// There are two types of shawms commonly used in Catalonia in Northern Spain. ... The piffero is a double reed musical instrument with a conical bore, of the oboe family. ... The Hirtenschalmei (or shepherds shawm) is a late 20th century reconstruction following certain iconographical sources of a cylindrical double-reed wind-cap instrument with flaring bell; it produces a rather buzzy sound. ... The Highland Hornpipe is a musical instrument that can be played similarly to a chanter on a Highland Bagpipe, although it is usually tuned an octave lower than a bagpipe chanter. ... A bagpipe performer in Amsterdam. ... Turkish Zurna in Ottoman band For other meanings, see Zurna (disambiguation) and Surna (disambiguation) The Zurna (also called Surna) is a surnay woodwind instrument of Asia Minor used in traditional weddings along with a Davul. ...

External links

  • The Renaissance Shawm
  • The Shawm and Curtal - from the Diabolus in Musica Guide to Early Instruments
  • Shawm
  • Rauschpfeiff
  • The Dulcian
  • Shawm is also the name of an Afghan artist, musician, and vocalist

  Results from FactBites:
 
shawm - Encyclopedia.com (966 words)
The shape and tone of the soprano shawm are comparable to those of the oboe, of which it is a precursor.
The shawm was constructed from a single piece of wood that was conically bored.
The Boston Shawm and Sackbut Ensemble is, of course, from...
Der Sackpfeyffer zu Linden - Shawm (632 words)
The shawm instruments are also called oboe instruments in the western influenced organology, although the (modern) oboe is the most atypical member of the shawm family.
Shawms are double-reed wood-wind instruments with a conical bored tube that's mostly finished with a large bell.
Shawms have 7-8 medium sized fingerholes whereby the eight hole is fingered with the left thumb.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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