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curtal

curtal (curtall). Renaissance wind instr., ancestor of the bn., developed in mid-16th cent. Had double reeds, single U-tube, and conical bore. Name comes from Lat. curtus, short, and, like bombard, was borrowed from artillery, the curtal being a variety of short-barrelled cannon. Bass curtal was known in Eng. as double curtal and had 2 keys (little finger and thumb). There were also the great bass curtal (an octave below the bass), and sop., alto, and ten. sizes.

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