Instruments | Racket, Dulcian, Curtal | Renaissance | Classical
The racket was a short double-reed instrument that looked like a kaleidoscope. It had nine parallel bores, all connected at alternate ends to form a continuous tube, with eight of them arranged around a central ninth. In this last a reed was inserted on a staple, much as in a shawm. The fingerholes were at the front and sides of the racket; it was fingered by both hands in parallel, not left above right as in almost all other wind instruments. Some rackets were made of hard wood, others of ivory.
Further double-reed instruments from the Renaissance include the dulcian and the curtal. An early version of the bassoon, the dulcian was made in one piece rather than in the separable three of the later bassoon. ‘Curtal’ was the name normally used in England for both dulcian and bassoon until the modern term was adopted in the eighteenth century.
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