When you ask most people to think of a double reed instrument, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the oboe or bassoon. But there are many other types of double reed instruments that you may not have heard of.
In this post, we’ll look at 15 different double-reed instruments and explore some of their history and how they’ve been used over the years. Let’s start with the oboe.
First, we have probably the most famous double-reed instrument, which is oboe.
The oboe was invented in the late seventeenth century. It evolved from its predecessor Shawm (which we’ll look at later in this article). It became very popular among baroque composers and was widely used in the eighteenth century.
Modern oboes are usually made of wood, and have 46 metal keys that are covered by the jukebox to produce different pitches of notes.
You will find the oboe in Concert orchestras, symphony orchestras, chamber groups and, interestingly, the instrument that the orchestra chimes with.
Other popular double reed machine, bassoon The woodwind instrument that powers the bass and tenor bands in an orchestra.
Made of wood and with 5 different parts it has a very unique shape with a large long tube made of wood that looks like it folds into two parts.
The bassoon has few ancestors but it evolved from the Renaissance woodwind called the Dulcian. Over the course of the 17th and 18th centuries, more and more keys were added to the bassoon until the 19th century reaching what we now know as a modern bassoon.
The bassoon is one of the most common woodwind instruments in an orchestra where you will usually find two bassoons. You can also get the Contrapson which is much larger and less than an octave sound!
3. Core Ingles
Also referred to as English century, the english trumpet It is another common double-reed instrument that belongs to the oboe family.
Despite its name, which means “English horn” in French, cor anglais is neither from France nor England, the name having first appeared in Vienna in the early 18th century.
To look at the figure, the Core Ingles looks remarkably like an oboe, but it’s a bit longer, with a bend at one end and a pear-shaped bell at the other called a Liebesfuss.
Cor anglais has similar fingering and playing techniques to those that musicians often use when needed.
Next we have another double-reed instrument from the oboe family called the Heckelphone. It was invented by Wilhelm Haeckel in 1904 after German composer Richard Wagner suggested it to him.
It occupies the bass section of the oboe family which helps bridge the gap between oboe and bassoon.
It is believed that the first time the heckelphone was used in a performance was in 1905 in Richard Strauss’ Salome Opera.
Nowadays, it is very rare to see it used in orchestral music as only about 150 of them have ever been made.
We now come to one of the ancestors of many double reed instruments, which is Shaoum. As you’ll hear in the video above, chums have a very distinct sound.
The sham appeared on the scene in Europe in the thirteenth century and became one of the most popular musical instruments during the late Middle Ages and into the Renaissance.
They are usually made from a single piece of wood with finger holes cut out so the musician can vary the pitch. Like other wind machines, it then has a glowing bell at the end.
As with most types of instruments, Shawms come in different sizes, the higher the pitch the lower the pitch and vice versa, the smaller the pitch.
Next, we have an instrument that looks like a cross between a bassoon and a saxophone, and sarosophone It is a double-reed instrument made by Pierre-Louis Gutrot in 1856.
It got its name from Pierre-Auguste Sarros, the French musician who came up with the idea for Sarrusophone and from Gautrot named it after that.
Unlike all the other tools we’ve looked at so far, the Sarosophone is made of metal.
It is very rare to see them in classical music today with very few parts written for them. However, you’ll hear a smuggled sarrusophone in some pieces like apprentice magician By Dukas or Ravel’s Scheherazade.
the following tool, Crumhorn (meaning curved horn) is a Renaissance woodwind instrument popular at the English court of Henry VIII.
As its name suggests, the pod is not straight like many musical instruments but is bent that features a unique J curve. This does not actually affect the sound but is purely aesthetic.
Cromorn is unique so far on our list because it’s what’s called a dipped reed – meaning you don’t actually place your lips over the double reed, instead blowing air through an opening in the cap.
This has one benefit that you are less likely to damage your reeds (which are very sensitive) but one drawback is that you can’t control the dynamics.
Another double reed instrument from the Renaissance period is the bagpipe Which looks quite similar to Crumhorn.
Like the pod, it’s also a covered reed instrument meaning you don’t rest your lips on the reed but instead blow through a gap at the end of the instrument.
Popular in the Renaissance, they lost their popularity in the transition to the Baroque period, and unfortunately no original cornamose has survived. This means that all modern machines are made from photos and descriptions.
Another woodwind from the Renaissance, the Dolchian or yard It is the ancestor of the bassoon. The sound it produces is deep and very similar to the sound of a bassoon.
Although it is not known who or when it was invented, it was so popular during the late 15th century and into the 17th century that it was used in much chamber music.
Dulcians are made of wood, usually maple. They were built by drilling two holes in them so that the air would pass down and back into the burning bell.
Then the double reed is installed at the end of the hole or crook.
10. Oboe da cacia
the oboe da cacia or oboe da silva It is another double reed instrument that belongs to the oboe family.
It is believed to have been invented by J.H. Eichentopf in Germany, and it was first mentioned in 1722. Then it became a very popular Baroque instrument with composers such as Bach and Fach writing it extensively.
Like the pod we looked at earlier, the Oboe da Caccia is also a curved tube shape although it looks more similar to cor anglais.
Also called a sausage bassoon or Cervilas, the Racket It is a wind instrument of the Renaissance.
It was first introduced at the end of the 16th century, but its exact origins are unknown. It is believed that he is from Germany because there are some paintings of him there.
Considering it’s a small machine, Rackett made a surprisingly low-pitched sound. This is capable thanks to its clever design that features 9 connected slots.
But it was short-lived and was replaced by the bassoon in the late 17th century.
12. Oboe of love
Finally, but by no means do we have oboe damore It is another woodwind of the oboe family.
Its name which is translated means “love oboe” probably comes from the deep calm tone it produces, with other instruments such as purple love And love flute The inspiration for this name.
to look into Oboe d’Amore is larger than the glottis and its role is to bridge the gap in the range between the glottis and the cor anglais.
Summing up our double reed tool list
There you have it, the 15 most popular double reed tools.
As you can tell by now, this large family of musical instruments has a lot of variety and flexibility to offer when it comes to sound and construction.
There is a lot more that we did not include in this list, so we will be adding to it soon. Let us know which ones you think we should add!