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Recognized by a wider circle of amateur early music fans as well as experts and academics in the music field, the crumhorn is a unique and fabulous instrument that deserves its day in the sun. Now it’s time to learn more and celebrate International Crumhorn Day! 

History of International Crumhorn Day

The crumhorn is a double reed woodwind musical instrument that dates back to somewhere around the 14th century. Some originals of these instruments have survived from as far back as the court of Henry VIII in England, as well as from places in Italy and France.

Although the crumhorn spent some time on the back burner for a bit, in the last several decades it has made its way back into popularity, particularly with a niche crowd of enthusiasts. There is only a small handful of folks who still crumhorns professionally but a renaissance is hoped for. While some musicians might think of the crumhorn as a sideline to more “important” reed instruments, fans believe that it has tons of musical potential just waiting to be developed!

International Crumhorn Day was founded in 2021 by a group of musicians called Whistlebow. Looking for a special reason to release their first album on a special day, October 3, this day was born. The hope for the day is also that it will be an occasion to show appreciation for and explore this minor but distinctive part of Renaissance music.

How to Celebrate International Crumhorn Day

Say hello to celebrating this rather old but fascinating musical instrument by participating in International Crumhorn Day with some of these ideas:

Listen to Crumhorns Being Played

For those who actually have access to a crumhorn and have experience with another reeded woodwind instrument, it might be fun to try one out in honor of International Crumhorn Day. And for those who don’t play but would like to engage with the day, the internet offers some excellent opportunities to listen. A little online search brings up plenty of YouTube videos and a little Spotify search can also render some crumhorn songs for listening.

Learn Fun Facts About the Crumhorn 

One of the best ways to show appreciation for this rather obscure musical instrument on International Crumhorn Day might be to get connected through information. Show some honor by learning a bit more about the instrument including its history, its sound and much more. Check out some of these fun facts about the crumhorn in honor of the day:

  • The end of the crumhorn is bent upwards in a curve that makes the instrument resemble the letter “J”.

  • While the curve of the crumhorn makes it distinct in the way it looks, it actually has no impact on the sounds and is only for decoration.

  • The name “crumhorn” has German origins that means something like “bent horn” or “crooked horn”. In French it is called the “tournebout” meaning “turned up end”.

  • Like many other woodwinds, the crumhorn has seven finger holes on the front of the instrument and one thumbhole on the back. There is one more hole lower on the front that is used for tuning purposes.

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