crumhorn, J-shaped, double-reed musical instrument used throughout Europe from the 15th cent. through the 17th cent. It possesses a soft, reedy tone. The reed is enclosed by a wooden cap with a hole at the top through which the player blows. The cap serves as a wind chamber, which causes the reed to vibrate. The crumhorn is one of the ancestors of the oboe.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.