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Crumhorn (bass)

1522, Manufacturer: Jörg Wier



Crumhorn (bass)

A characteristic of Renaissance instruments is the rich variety of tone colours produced by different instrumental types. On the crumhorn the sound is produced by a double reed, though the player’s lips do not directly come into contact with it. The reed is situated in a windcap fitted to the upper end of the instrument. Blowing into the instrument produces an increase in air pressure that causes both segments of the double reed to vibrate. The bore of the crumhorn is cylindrical throughout almost its entire length and the instrument is not capable of overblowing. This means that the pitch range is relatively limited. Jörg Wier managed to extend the range of his bass crumhorn by attaching two brass slides which allowed the bottom note to be lowered by either one or two notes. (rh/bd)

Beatrix Darmstädter: Die Krummhörner und die Windkapselschalmei aus der Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, Sammlungskataloge des Kunsthistorischen Museums Wien, Bd. 8, Wien 2015.
Rudolf Hopfner: Masterpieces from the Collection of Historic Musical Instruments. A Short Guide through the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Vol. 1, Vienna 2019.

Location: Neue Burg, Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente Saal 9

Object data

Object Name

Crumhorn (bass)


Germany, Memmingen




Jörg Wier (gest. vor 1563 Memmingen) - GND

Dimensions Cover size is a museum or exhibition-specific information. It does not specify the real dimensions of the musical instrument.

1000 mm x 320 mm x 70 mm

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente

Inv. No.

Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, 678

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