shawm

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shawm

(shôm), double-reed woodwind instrument used in Europe from the 13th through the 17th cent. The term denotes a family of instruments of different sizes. The shape and tone of the soprano shawm are comparable to those of the oboeoboe
[Ital., from Fr. hautbois] or hautboy
, woodwind instrument of conical bore, its mouthpiece having a double reed. The instruments possessing these general characteristics may be referred to as the oboe family, which includes the English horn, the bassoon,
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, of which it is a precursor. The shawm was constructed from a single piece of wood that was conically bored. Shawm-type instruments exist in many parts of the world, some of them with cognate names, such as the Turkish zurna.