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The Renaissance is an important time period for modern music and musical instruments Many styles and techniques came about in this time More importantly most of the instruments that we see today have evolved from instruments from the Renaissance From the year 1450 to 1550 instrumental music became very popular Also instruments were being used alone instead of accompanying voices And because these instruments differed in ranges and size ie soprano alto tenor and bass they started to become used more and more in ensembles than for accompanying the human voice Instruments like the guitar trumpet trombone flute and oboe can all be traced back to more primitive counterparts of the Renaissance Especially with wind instruments there is an obvious correlation to this time period Most of the instruments were made out of wood therefore making the instruments much quieter than todays counterparts Some not all of the instruments used in the Renaissance were the Shawm Cornett Recorder Sackbut and Flute All of these instruments operate much the same way They each have different ways of making the sound by using a reed or buzzing of the lips but the way pitches are changed is the same As a finger hole is plugged up or a slide is moved the column of air inside the instrument gets changed Usually this makes the note get higher if the air column got smaller or lower if the air column got larger See figure 1 Reed instruments became very popular during the Renaissance Many different kinds of reed instruments were played at that time Most of them used the same principals but had different characteristics to them The first main reed instrument was the Shawm See figure 2 The Shawm is the ancestor to the modern day Oboe Bassoon English horn The Shawm became widely popular for outdoor use during the Renaissance The Shawm was played by using a double reed
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