- an early musical woodwind instrument with a double reed: the forerunner of the modern oboe.
Origin of shawm
Examples from the Web for shawm
The shawm rang out yearningly beneath the pale expanse of an unsympathetic heaven.
The shawm was silent, the herdsman bent questioningly over the wall and Kurwenal made answer.
Cornemuse is a bagpipe; shalmye is a shawm, which was a wind-instrument, being derived from Lat.Chaucer's Works, Volume 3 (of 7)
A figure is given (Galpin, p. 159) of a goat playing on a shawm from a carving of the twelfth century at Canterbury.
The name is believed to be derived from calamaula, a reed-pipe, which was corrupted to chalem-elle and then to shawm.
- music a medieval form of the oboe with a conical bore and flaring bell, blown through a double reed
Word Origin and History for shawm
"medieval oboe-like instrument," mid-14c., schalmeis (plural), also schallemele (late 14c.), from Old French chalemie, chalemel, from Late Latin calamellus, literally "a small reed," diminutive of Latin calamus "reed," from Greek kalamos, from PIE *kole-mo- "grass, reed" (cf. Old English healm "straw," Latin culmus "stalk"). Mistaken as a plural and trimmed of its "-s" ending from mid-15c. Related: Shawmist.