noun \ˈshm\

Definition of SHAWM

:  an early double-reed woodwind instrument

Origin of SHAWM

Middle English (Scots) schalme, alteration of Middle English shalemie, from Middle French chalemie, ultimately from Latin calamus reed — more at calamus
First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with SHAWM


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Double-reed Renaissance woodwind instrument, ancestor of the oboe. Its conical bore and bell are wider than the oboe's. A disk called a pirouette usually supports the player's lips. Shawms were constructed in many sizes, from treble to great bass. They were in use in the Middle East perhaps 2,000 years ago, and they were introduced into Europe during the Crusades. With their powerful tone, shawms were classed with the “loud” or “outdoor” instruments and were used in dance and ceremonial music.


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