Crumhorns!

Obscure early instrument of the week: the glorious crumhorn!

To be fair, crumhorns aren’t that obscure. You may not have seen one, you may not have known the name, but the distinctive buzzy timbre immediately says “Renaissance” even to people who don’t listen to much early music. It’s memorable, to say the least. The “crum” part of the name is related to the word “crumple”, implying curvature, according to the Wikipedia (here’s their article). I have several friends who play or have played crumhorn; they all agree that it takes a tremendous amount of air pressure to play. If you’re prone to headaches or face cramps, this may not be the instrument for you.


2 Comments on “Crumhorns!”

  1. A famous Irish language scholar says:

    I wonder if crum is related to the Irish word “crom”, meaning bent.

  2. ellie says:

    Interesting instruments.
    They bear a remarkable resemblance to upside down walking sticks,
    and yet they sounds like Kazoos.
    Surprisingly catchy.


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