The Bladder Pipe
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The bladder pipe is a very distinctive loud instrument which has a reed which is enclosed by an animal bladder. The performer blows into the bladder through its mouthpiece, a wooden pipe. Like the bag of a bagpipe, the bladder serves as a wind reservoir keeping the lips from touching the reed directly. The bladder pipe's sound is unusual because the player is unable to tongue or otherwise control the reed. This medieval instrument was one of the principal early wind cap instruments and is considered the forerunner to the crumhorn. Since it cannot overblow for an upper register, the fingering is even similar to the crumhorn.
|Musica Antiqua's bladder pipe has a bladder from a sheep. It looks
like parchment and crackles as it is filled. Replacement cost for the bladder
is currently $50.
R. Weber: 'Tournebout-Pifia-Bladderpipe (Platerspiel)', GSJ, (1977)