Catalan shawm

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In music, a Catalan shawm is one of two varieties of shawm (an oboe-like woodwind instrument) played in Catalonia in northeastern Spain.

Region, types, and uses

The types of shawm commonly used in Catalonia are the tible (, Catalan for "treble") and the tenora (, Catalan for "tenor"). The tenora is pitched about a fifth lower than the tible. These shawms are usually used with other instruments to accompany the traditional Catalan circle dance, the Sardana. Other Catalan folk shawms are the tarota () the original keyless version of the tible, and the gralla (), a short, strident instrument with a steep conical bore. Both of these resemble shawms from other parts of Spain, such as the dol├žaina of Aragon and Valencia, and both employ open fingering.

Difference between shawms and oboes

There are several distinct differences between shawms and oboes. Shawms normally have a larger bore, which makes them louder and more suitable than the oboe for outdoor playing. In addition, the bore is more "sword-shaped" than that of the oboe (it is more like a narrow parabola than a perfect cone). This gives the shawm a stronger, earthier, more fiery tone. Though favored in ancient times, some today find the sound harsh and irritating. The difference in bore shape also gives shawms additional problems with intonation. It was the goals of easier fingering, better intonation, and a sound and volume level more suitable for indoor use that prompted the...
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