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date: 20 January 2020

Musette(i) (Fr.)locked

  • revised by Robert A. Green
  •  and Meredith Ellis Little
  • Anthony C. Baines



(1) A small bagpipe, especially one of aristocratic design which achieved popularity in France in the 17th and early 18th centuries. The air supply to the bag comes from a small bellows strapped under the arm. The earliest discussion of its use appears in Mersenne (1636–7). During the 17th century the instrument was used to play rustic dances, such as the bransles found in the first treatise on the instrument, by Borjon de Scellery (Traité de la musette, Lyons, 1672/R). The instrument described by Mersenne and Borjon had a range of ten notes (f′–a″) and drones in F and B♭.

In the early 18th century a second chanter was added, giving the instrument a range to d‴ and allowing the possibility of double stops. The drones in C and G were the most frequently used, and most music for these instruments is in those tonalities, although D and A tunings were also possible. This instrument and its technique are described methodically in Jacques Martin Hotteterre's ...

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M. Mersenne: Harmonie universelle