American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various early double-reed wind instruments, forerunners of the modern oboe.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A musical instrument of the oboe class, having a double reed inclosed in a globular mouthpiece. It was akin to the musette and the bagpipe, and passed over into the bassoon. The word survives in the chalumeau register of the clarinet. It is inaccurately used in the Prayer-book version of the 98th Psalm for cornet or horn. Compare
- n. a mediaeval double reed wind instrument with conical wooden body
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Mus.) A wind instrument of music, formerly in use, supposed to have resembled either the clarinet or the hautboy in form.
- n. a medieval oboe
- From Old French chalemel (French chalumeau), from Latin calamus ("reed"), from Greek καλαμος. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English schalme, from Old French chalemie, alteration of chalemel, from Late Latin calamellus, diminutive of Latin calamus, reed, from Greek kalamos. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“shawm" was a musical instrument resembling the clarinet.”
“Musicians entertained from the gallery above the kings, offering delicate love songs and lively tunes on harp, lute, and shawm.”
“I think he also plays the crummhorn, or maybe the shawm.”
“Wherever Kahlan went, she could hear pipes and drums, or the piercing notes of a shawm, or the melodic chords of strings.”
“The painting portrays Renaissance instruments with great accuracy: a tenor or alto shawm, a precursor of the English horn; a Gothic harp; a brass trumpet; a portative organ; a vielle, an early form of violin; a soprano or treble shawm, a distant forerunner of the oboe; a lute; three recorders; a dulcimer being struck by a light hammer; and a harp.”
“I actually wanted to use shawm in the bridging piece, but I don't seem to have one easily to hand -- then again, my organization being what it is, I may have half a dozen sampled shawms and just be clueless.”
“Huge-headdressed Beijing opera singers twirling their long sleeves while a guy dressed as a monkey bounces around the stage eating a peach, accompanied by hella loud gongs and a blaring shawm?”
“A sackbut is a brass horn that looks alot like a trombone with a slightly smaller bell, and a shawm is a double reed instrument that is a predecessor to the oboe.”
“Like a shawm for holy masses or the wind through garden grasses, prayer of the saints now passes through angelic harmonies.”
“He watched her coming up the road, his finger tapping against his bent knee as the shawm played a bouncy tune Fitch knew, called "Round the Well and Back," about a man chasing a woman he loved, but who always ignored him. the man finally had enough and chased her in the song until he caught her.”
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