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Open Cornamuse (Alto) - Renaissance Reed-Cap meets RepRap

by sphynx, published

Open Cornamuse (Alto) - Renaissance Reed-Cap meets RepRap by sphynx Dec 20, 2012
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This is a design for an Alto Cornamuse based on the article "Building a Cornamuse in F (Alto)", by Jörg Becker.


The goal of the project is to design a 3D printable alto cornamuse.

What is a cornamuse?
A cornamuse is a reed cap instrument of the Renaissance period. It is a double reed instrument like the oboe, but, rather than the reed going directly into the player's mouth, it is covered by a reed cap into which the player blows. There are no surviving instruments, but there is a description of one in "Syntagma Musicum" by Michael Praetorius, who describes the sound as "quite similar to crumhorns, but quieter, lovelier, and very soft."

Given that other reed cap instruments, such as the crumhorn, are very well known, the description in Praetorius is enough to attempt a reconstruction, and several makers have done so.

Why reed-cap?
In some ways, reed-cap instruments are ideal candidates for 3D printing:

1) They are simple in construction with a cylindrical bore.
2) You can buy the most difficult part of the instrument (the reed) from several sources.
3) They don't really lose that much by being made in plastic. The buzzy sound of the reed-cap family is lends itself well to all kinds of different materials. There are even period reed-cap instruments in brass.
4) They have very few keys. In fact, the cornamuse has no keys, making it the idea place to start.

The mechanics
The instrument is in four files for printing purposes:

1) ReedCap - the reed cap.
2) UpperSlice - the upper part of the main body of the instrument. Has a raft.
3) LowerSlice - the lower part of the main body of the instrument. Has a raft.
4) EndCap - the pierced end cap that goes on the end of the instrument.

The joint between the UpperSlice and the LowerSlice is an interference fit and should be glued. The main body has been divided purely for printing purposes.

The ends of the main body have traditional silk wrapped joints as you would find on a Baroque oboe or recorder.

The bore is 8mm diameter, but I may reduce this after a kind suggestion by George Kelischek of Susato (http://www.susato.com).

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