Option 1. Select one early musical instrument to research from the list below:
Clavichord – Cornetto (or cornett) – Crumhorn – Harpsichord – Hurdy Gurdy – Lute – Pipe and Tabor – Portative Organ – Psaltery – Rebec – Sackbut – Serpent – Shawm – Vielle – Viol
(Not sure where to start? Choose a strange-sounding name that is unfamiliar to you!)
Spend some time researching your chosen instrument on the internet. Please note that you are primarily researching the version of the instrument that was used in the medieval/Renaissance periods, not any modern equivalent. Use the following as a basis for your research:
What type of instrument is this? Woodwind, brass, strings, keyboard, percussion? Haut (high) or bas (low)?
How is this instrument played and how does it produce sound?
What does the instrument sound like? See if you can find an audio recording or YouTube video featuring the instrument. (Tip: a recordings anthology called “Dictionary of Medieval and Renaissance Instruments,” available on YouTube, includes recordings of many of these instruments.)
What kind of music did this instrument play? Dance music? Sacred music? Song accompaniments?
Was this instrument played on its own or with other instruments? What kinds of other instruments might you hear with it?
During what centuries was this instrument used?
Was the instrument associated with any specific country, region, or group of musicians?
What modern instrument(s) is this early instrument similar to? What are the similarities and differences?
Note down anything else about your chosen instrument that seems interesting and unusual!