The word "chalumeau" comes from Latin "calamellus" resp. Greek "calamos", both meaning "reed".
The chalumeau was used for folkmusic in the Middle Ages and had its origin in the Orient.
It consisted of an about 20 cm long cylindrical tube with nine fingerholes. At the upper end of the tube,
three cuts were made that together formed a rectangle, so that the resulting "reed" was part of the tube.
This mouthpiece was surrounded by a capsule. The range of the chalumeau was from f (i.e. written three additional lines
below the system) up to a' (second spare in the system counted from below), including only the tones of the F-major scale.
I found a sound clip of the chalumeau on the net. Not too far away from the clarinet I would say. Real Media or MP3
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This page was updated 2004-02-23
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