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Musette French (Primary)

Sackpfeife German


A reed stop of 8' or 4' pitch, imitating more or less the instrument of the same name, a small bagpipe. It has been made in a number of forms, employing both free and beating reeds. Regnier (by way of Audsley) gives it half-length �pyramidal� resonators. The earliest description we have comes from Dom Bedos, along with the larger of the two illustrations reproduced here: The Musette is a reed stop with inverted conical [spindle] resonators of pure tin, posessing the full compass of either the Positif or Grand orgue. Although the resonators be of 4' length, this stop speaks at 8' pitch. Its tone is somewhat lighter than that of the Cromorne, and it resembles that of a bagpipe. This stop is still rather unfamiliar in France. Figure 143 shows a Musette pipe. Its top P, is one-half the dimension of its bottom, O. Aside from this, it resembles the Cromorne. Bonavia-Hunt describes it as being essentially a small-scaled Clarinet with an Orchestral Oboe shallot, and a cylindrical resonator no more than 3/4" in diameter at 2' C. He goes on to say: A more quaint and pastoral timbre is secured by using a clarinet shallot, the apex of the V-shaped opening being cut at a distance of a fourth from the head or base, while the narrow orchestral shallot with its saw-cut opening makes the tone thinner and freer.



Osiris contains thirty examples of Musette at 8' pitch, fifteen at 4' pitch, eight at 16', and one at 2'. The oldest ones are listed below. We know of no examples of Sackpfeife. Contributions welcome.

Musette 8', Recit Expressif; La Madeleine, Paris, France; Cavaillé-Coll 1846.
Musette 8', Solo Expressif; Albert Hall, Sheffield, England; Cavaillé-Coll 1873.
This page was last last built on June 24, 2020
Original site compiled by Edward L. Stauff. For educational use only.