Musette Baroque


18th century

Not on view

The musette is a form of bagpipe with bellows that was played in France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It was an instrument played in aristocratic circles and was associated with idealized pastoral themes. The baroque musette was integrated alongside other chamber music instruments and was regularly composed for.

This unsigned bellows-blown musette features a double chanter (grand chalumeau and petit chalumeau). The small parallel chanter (petit chalumeau) was invented by Martin Hotteterre (1630-1712) in the mid-seventeenth century. The shuttle drone (bourdon) has four double reeds and five sliders. Sliders allow the play of one, two, three, or four drones. The instrument is made of tinted boxwood with ivory rings. The leather bag is covered with a purple silk bag embroidered with beige patterns. It is trimmed with a gold and blue ribbon, and the stock openings are adorned with golden fringes. This lavish material is also present on the bellows, covering the wooden frame. The leather folds are covered in beige cloth.

(Cassandre Balosso-Bardin, 2023)

Technical Description
Cylindrical double chanters, boxwood, main (grand chalumeau) 241 mm (94-7/8 in.); 7/1 holes with lowest fingerhole doubled; 5 brass keys (1 absent); auxiliary (petit chalumeau) 125 mm (49¼); 6 brass keys (3 front, 3 rear); blind bore; flat pyriform pipe; both chanters with thin double reeds of cane on brass staples;

Shuttle drone cylinder 160 mm (63 in.), with internal bores connected to form 4 drones, each tuned or silenced with an ivory slider (layette), the bass drone having 2 sliders; drone reeds inaccessible (typically double cane reeds);

4-fold leather bellows covered in beige cloth, with 2 wooden boards covered with purple silk and trimmed with gold braid;

Leather bag covered with purple silk embroidered in beige and purple and trimmed with gold and blue ribbon;

Pipes and stocks mounted with ivory, including turned ivory cap on drone cylinder with grooved turnings; Wooden parts except drone cylinder with grooved turnings;

Stock holes in cover trimmed with gold fringe.

Musette Baroque, boxwood, ivory, brass, leather, silk, French

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