from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A woodwind instrument of the Renaissance and early baroque period, similar to a bassoon but with a smaller range.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A small bassoon.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun music A Renaissance bass woodwind instrument, with a double reed and a folded conical bore


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Alteration of Old French douçaine, doucine, a kind of wind instrument, from douce, feminine of doux, sweet, pleasant, from Latin dulcis.]


  • Giovanni Gabrieli, one of the organists at San Marco, composed a festival piece that featured the full arsenal of instrumentation: trumpets, sackbutts, a dulcian, violin, viola, drums and two organs.

    Jesse Kornbluth: Holidays '09: Ten Music CDs I Bet You'll See On No Other Gift List

  • At the same moment, through the pillars of the Temple of Amor, the sound of a dulcian, a clarino and a theorbo could be heard.

    Archive 2009-03-01

  • A manuscript obituary states that, in addition to his compositions he was renowned especially for his skill at chansonetas and other spirited music, he played keyboard instruments, harp, flute and dulcian.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • I heard the dusty, sonorous songs of the reed shawm, the small oboe and the reed dulcian, and other small reed organs played by mouth, and then the more ringing tone of the brass sackbut horn, and perhaps even the light singing of the hammers striking the taut strings of the dulcimer.

    Vittorio, The Vampire


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