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Renaissance Workshop Company
The foremost manufacturer of early musical instruments worldwide

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Finished and Kit RWC Cornamusen


Praetorius gives us the clearest description we have of the Cornamuse, no cornamusen having survived to the present day.

A windcap instrument, similar to the better known crumhorn, they have a straight centre section ending in a small resonating chamber.

Cornamusen also have the same musical compass as the crumhorn family, the sound however is quieter and less strident allowing them to blend well with recorders and other instruments. [more about the Cornamusen]

The cornamuse is a windcap double reed instrument dating from the Renaissance period. It is similar in many ways to the crumhorn and rauschpfeife, although unlike those instruments, the bell of the cornamuse is closed, resulting in a much quieter sound. In Syntagnum Musicum, Michael Praetorius described their sound as "quite similar to crumhorns, but quieter, lovelier, and very soft." However, there are no extant cornamusen from the period, and so all modern reproductions are based on paintings and the description in Praetorius.

The name is not to be confused with cornemuse, which is the French word for bagpipes.

Die Cornamuse ist ein Holzblasinstrument mit Doppelrohrblatt, zylindrisch gebohrter Röhre und Windkapsel. Das untere Ende der Röhre ist mit einem Deckel verschlossen, der seitliche Luftaustrittslöcher besitzt. Bei einigen Modellen ist der Deckel abnehmbar. Der Klang der Cornamuse ähnelt dem des Krummhorns, ist aber leiser und zarter. Wird der Deckel abgenommen, so ist der Klang im Vergleich zum Krummhorn lauter und kräftiger. Die Cornamuse besitzt sieben vorderständige Grifflöcher und ein Daumenloch für den linken Daumen. Der Tonumfang beträgt eine große None. Bei der modernen Cornamuse ist der Tonumfang durch zwei Klappen nach oben erweitert und beträgt dann eine Undezime.

Es gibt die Stimmlagen Sopran, Alt, Tenor und Bass. Kleinere und größere Instrumente wurden versuchsweise gebaut, konnten sich aber nicht durchsetzen. Wie bei den meisten Holzblasinstrumenten der Renaissance ist die c/f-Stimmung üblich:

Stimmlage Tonumfang (in Klammern moderne Cornamuse) Sopran c1 d1 – d2 (– f2) Alt f0 g0 – f1 (– b1) Tenor c0 d0 – d1 (– f1) Bass F G – f0 (– b0)

Cornamusen sind mittels Gabelgriffen chromatisch mit Ausnahme der kleinen Sekunde zum tiefsten Ton spielbar.

Die Cornamuse wurde in Europa im 15. Jahrhundert entwickelt und stammt von einem mittelalterlichen Instrument mit gerader Röhre ab. Im 16. Jahrhundert war das Instrument weit verbreitet. Mit dem musikalischen Übergang von der Renaissance zum Barock im 17. Jahrhundert geriet es aus der Mode. Seit der Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts werden wieder Cornamusen gebaut und gespielt. Neben der Wiedergabe von Musik aus Mittelalter und Renaissance wird die Cornamuse vereinzelt auch bei Folk und moderner Musik eingesetzt. In der Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts wurde im Auftrag eines Renaissanceensembles eine Subbasscornamuse gebaut und erfolgreich eingesetzt.

Das Musikinstrument Cornamuse wird gelegentlich mit der sehr ähnlichen französischen Bezeichnung cornemuse (allgemein für „Sackpfeife“) verwechselt.

La cornamuse est un instrument à vent à anche double né à la toute fin du moyen-âge et caractéristique de la Renaissance. La cornamuse est proche du cromorne mais le corps de l'instrument est droit.

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Finished | Kits | Plans


Finished and Kit RWC Cornamusen


RWC Cornamusen
Our Cornamusen are available in four sizes and two sets.

Our soprano cornamuse has a plastic reed and two upward extension keys fitted as standard, gives of c' - e''.

Our alto cornamuse has two upward extension keys fitted as standard, giving it a range of f - b'(c').

The RWC tenor cornamuse has two upward extension keys fitted as standard, giving it a range of c - f'(g').

Our finished bass cornamuse has two upward extension keys fitted as standard, giving it a range of F - b(c). It also has lower key for the bottom note which can be operated by the little finger of either hand depending on whether you are left or right handed.

These instruments above are presented with a plastic reed, a reed care and maintenance leaflet and fingering chart in a padded sleeve. An attractive attache style carrying case is available as extra option.

Each instrument is hand built to special order by in house craftsmen in our own workshops in Toledo (Spain) and comes with 12 months warranty.

You can also have two sets witch offer a substantial saving over buying the instruments individually and includes a special attache style carrying case for all four instruments.

The cornamuse ATTB set is the more historically accurate arrangement of an alto in f, two tenors in c and a bass in F.

The cornamuse SATB set is the conventional arrangement of soprano in c', alto in f, tenor in c and bass in F.

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Finished | Kits | Plans


Finished and Kit RWC Cornamusen


Cornamuse Kit
The same range of Cornamusen are offered in kit form for home assembly.

Our cornamuse kits are ones of the easiest kits in our range to build.

The price includes the license to build one instrument for private use.

The windcap, straight stem and resonator are all turned from English sycamore ready for assembly.

All the hardware parts, brass ring, extension keys, cork, leather and drills are included.

A plastic reed is supplied as standard with the option of cane upon request.

Full instructions in a clear and concise manner and a working template ensure success even for the first time builder.

All the kits Include free access to our customer 'Helpline' should you need any advice on construction, setting-up or playing.

You can choose among the soprano, alto, tenor and bass cornamuse kits.

An attractive attache style carrying case is available to protect the instruments above when finished.

Our ATTB and SATB cornamuse kits offer a substantial saving, over buying the kits individually. All the parts are as per the individual kits but avoiding any duplication and are packed in a single carrying case which can be used to protect the instruments when finished.

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Finished and Kit RWC Cornamusen


Cornamuse Plan
You can make the same range of instruments from scratch, following detailed step-by-step instructions through the construction process in a clear and concise manner.

A fully dimensioned plan and a set of templates illustrates each stage.

The price includes the license to build one instrument for private use.


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Last modification: 17 de septiembre de 2010
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