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sordone

rare double-reed wind instrument of the 16th and 17th centuries, an early precursor of the bassoon. It differs from the curtal, the bassoon's direct predecessor, in having a cylindrical bore (a bassoon bore is conical). The bore, cut into a single piece of wood, doubled in a narrow U-shape and emerged in a lateral hole. Finger holes were cut in the instrument wall. The sordone produced a muted sound and had a compass of a 13th.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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