almost as if one were blowing through a comb.
|The ingenuity of the Renaissance instrument maker was never exceeded
after the development of the rackett or Wurstfagott (sausage bassoon).
The instrument's narrow cylindrical bore consists of nine parallel channels
drilled in a wooden cylinder and connected alternately top and bottom.
Because of the internal convolutions, the size of the rackett is amazingly
small compared to its pitch. The tenor rackett is only about four and one-half
inches in height, yet its lowest note is F, two below middle c1.
The many-channeled nature of this instrument makes for unusual fingering
patterns. Another problem encountered by the rackett player is the removal
of moisture in the inner passageways of the instrument. Some racketts have
tiny brass tubes extending from the body for the player's fingers or thumbs.
A painting of the Munich court band during the latter sixteenth century depicts the rackett in consort with flute, recorder, cornetts, sackbut, lute, viols, and harpsichord.
Musica Antiqua owns a tenor and a great bass rackett by Hermann Moeck of Germany.
Musica Antiqua Instruments