Court Musette, late 17th Century, Private collection

(Contents of this page copyright 1999, Norm Sohl)

musette_photo_A

Chanter, Stocks, petite chamelou.   Note the threaded bell–this detail was noticed only after submitting the instrument to x-ray inspection.

musette_photo_B

Chanter, Stocks, petite chamelou.   Different view.  The chanter bell is fully assembled in this picture.

Musette_Xray_Chanter4

X-ray of chanter, showing side view of fingerholes, with details of undercutting.

Musette_Xray_Chanter3

X-ray of chanter, showing side view of keyed holes, with details of undercutting.

musette_Xray_Chanter

Positive print of same view.

musette_Xray_Small_Chanter2

Small chanter (petite chamelou)

Musette_Xray_Small_Chanter

Small Chanter, side view.

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3d renderings of renaissance recorders

consortRenaissance recorders were popular throughout Europe from about 1500 to 1650. They were among the most popular “consort” instruments, meaning that they were played in groups (or consorts). A typical consort for renaissance recorders would be made up of one alto, two tenors, and a bass instrument. Michael Praetorius, writing in 1618, expressed a preference for a consort made up of a tenor, two bass recorders, and a great bass. Praetorius also mentions an “ideal” consort made up of 21 instruments, made in 7 different sizes. He illustrated these instruments in his encyclopedic Syntagma Musicum.

These instruments were meant to play in small groups at one time–the alto-tenor-tenor-bass consort mentioned above would be played together, just as a tenor-bass-bass-great bass consort would have been used to provide contrast and variety.

The renaissance recorder in the 20th Century

The second half of the century has seen a huge revival of interest in early music, especially that of the recorder. Most of that interest has been focused on primarily solo instruments such as the baroque recorder. A few dedicated professional builders make reproductions of renaissance recorders, but sadly none of the major companies (even those with recorder lines called “renaissance”) have produced instruments which bear much resemblance to the original.

Notes for the illustrations:

These images are entirely computer generated, rendered with Persistence Of Vision raytracer version 3.0., a free (and excellent) ray-tracer. In 9997, that was pretty cutting edge, but a little dated now.  Because the models used to generate these images were based on measurements I and many others have made from the original instruments, they actually make (when printed full size) reasonable working drawings.  I have attempted to make them as accurate as possible–usually well beyond the resolution of the rendered image–still, remember that these are reproductions, and not images of the original instrument, with whatever artistic license that implies.


Renaissance Alto Recorder

Virtual reproduction after instrument in Vienna, Collection #8527

AltoSideView

AltoSideView2

AltoSideView3

 

altosidecutaway

 

palto

 


Renaissance Tenor Recorder

Virtual reproduction after instrument in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, access # 89.4.3133

TenorSideFront

tenorSide

TenorSideBack

 

tenorcut2

ptenor


 

Renaissance Basset Recorder

Virtual reproduction based on measurements taken from instrument in Brussels (collection number 4357)

bassetcutaway1000

BassetAll1000

 

BassetCapFont600

bassetcutaway1000

bassetblockkey1000

 

pbasset

Original contents of this page copyright by Norman Sohl, 1997

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