A Hirtenschalmei being played.
Woodwind instrument
Classification Aerophone
Hornbostel–Sachs classification422.111
Related instruments
Rauschpfeife, Shawm

The Hirtenschalmei (or shepherd's shawm) is a double reeded woodwind instrument, with a cylindrical bore and a flared bell,[1] reconstructed based on iconographic sources in the late 20th century.[2] The instrument is described as producing a "buzzy" sound.[3] The Hirtenschalmei tends to be quieter than a shawm. The double reed in the instrument is capped. The instrument is often mentioned in medieval french literature and art, depicted as being played by rustic figures.

All instances of the instruments today are reconstructed based on an instrument found on the wreck of the Mary Rose, during salvage operations in the 1980s. However, this instrument could also have been dulzaina.[4][5] Today, reconstructions are made in soprano, tenor and alto sizes.[6]


  1. ^ "Hirtenschalmei | Musica Antiqua". www.music.iastate.edu. Retrieved 2022-10-24.
  2. ^ piotrek (2022-04-12). "Renesansowe instrumenty dęte podwójnostroikowe". GT Instruments (in Polish). Retrieved 2022-10-24.
  3. ^ "The Hirtenschalmei (or shepherd's shawm)". Houston Public Media. 2017-04-01. Retrieved 2022-10-24.
  4. ^ Myers, Herbert W. (1983). "The Mary Rose 'Shawm'". Early Music. 11 (3): 358–360. doi:10.1093/earlyj/11.3.358. ISSN 0306-1078. JSTOR 3138024.
  5. ^ Palmer, Frances (1 January 1983). "Musical instruments from the Mary Rose: A report on work in progress". Early Music. 11 (1): 53–60. doi:10.1093/earlyj/11.1.53 – via Oxford Academic.
  6. ^ "Music in the Daily Life of Vermeer: The Shawm". www.essentialvermeer.com. Retrieved 2022-10-24.