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Still shawm/ douçaine


This boxwood still shawm, or douçaine, is the only one of its kind anywhere in the world, and differs from the ordinary shawm as it has a thumbhole and a decorated cylindrical bore, which produces a softer sound. It’s rather large, at over a metre long, and you need quite large hands to reach all the holes! It also splits into two just above the bore for storage, as it as found inside the remains of a case in such a state.

Still Shawm - 80a0545

The sound has been compared to that of an oboe, although some of our museum staff have less flattering descriptions! Whatever modern tastes may be like, the still shawm was a popular instrument at the time, and would have been part of a band on board the Mary Rose, providing musical entertainment for the crew.