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Musette

Musette

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1750 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Turned and engraved ivory, silk velvet bag with silk ribbon fringe and silk braid, silver keys

  • Museum number:

    394-1871

  • Gallery location:

    On display at the Horniman Museum, London , case B

This type of French bagpipe was known as a musette, and was played in courtly circles from about 1670, with pieces written for it by composers like Jean Philippe Rameau (1683–1764). Together with the cornemuse, a bagpipe with a mouthpiece, it has a much softer and more flute-like sound than the more familiar Scottish version of the instrument. The windbag is made of air-tight, greased silk, covered with layers of silk bags, and the protruding pipe, chanters and drone barrel are made of ivory. Unlike the cornemuse, the musette was fitted with bellows to provide the necessary wind, but the bellows are now missing from this example. The drone barrel was fitted with slots and slides, which helped tune the drones, which provided the background hum, and cut out any unwanted sounds.

On loan to the Horniman Museum.

Physical description

Ivory pipes, with fleur-de-lys engraved on the chanter stock. Shuttle drone (for four reeds). Chanter with seven silver keys and with an auxiliary closed chanter (petit chalumeau) od flat shape attached to it, this also with six silver keys. Ivory bellows pipe, and also a vacant stock apparently for optional use of mouth blow-pipe instead of the bellows. Bellows bag cover of silk velvet, originally salmon-pink, trimmed with silk ribbon ruched. Under this, an inner cover of dark green silk. ' - Anthony Baines: Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard insturments. (London, 1998), p. 102.

Place of Origin

France (made)

Date

ca. 1750 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Turned and engraved ivory, silk velvet bag with silk ribbon fringe and silk braid, silver keys

Dimensions

Length: 19 cm main chanter, Length: 10.7 cm auxiliar chanter, Length: 15 cm shuttle drone

Object history note

This item was bought for £10 from a certain Signor Ferraris in June 1871.

Descriptive line

Musette, turned and engraved ivory with silk velvet bag and silver keys, France, ca. 1750

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Anthony Baines: Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard insturments. (London, 1998), p. 102.

Materials

Ivory; Silk; Silver

Techniques

Turning

Subjects depicted

Fleur-de-lis

Categories

Musical instruments

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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