The shawm is a loud double-reed instrument which is the ancestor of the oboe. It first appears in the l3th century, and by the end of the Middle Ages was the most important loud instrument in use, finding a place in dance bands as well as ensembles for municipal and court ceremonies. Most medieval towns, for example, had shawm bands on the civic payroll to be on call for social and ceremonial events and to play the “all’s well” from the tower.

Shawm. L’Homme armé (anonymous) performed by the Boston Shawm and Sackbut Ensemble. Ménéstrels hauts et bas (1985),

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