Medieval Music, Schalmei

The shawm was probably a Mohammedan invention and supposedly developed in Bagdad during the reign of Calif Harun-al-Rashid (763-807). It seems logical that the shawn was introduced into Europe during the time of the Crusades when the typical Saracen military band consisted of shawms, trumpets, and drums.

The medieval or oriental shawm is keyless with seven finger holes and one thumb hole. The narrow bore accounts for its compact tone which is produced by a double reed which is not controlled by the player's lips (i.e., the entire reed is placed inside the mouth). This reed is attached to a staple at whose base lies a metal disc, against which the player presses his lips when performing.





Music Bladder Pipe Cornamuse Dulcian Gamba Harp Harpsichord Kortholt Lizard Lute Organetto Pipe and Tabor Psaltery Rebec Recorder Sacbut Schalmei Serpent Shawm Shofar Viol Songs