Definition of dulcian in English:



  • 1An early type of bassoon made in one piece.

    • ‘Early dulcians were often carved from a single piece of wood; the modern bassoon has four wooden joints together with a curved metal crook or ‘bocal’ and double reed.’
    • ‘Developed from the dulcian, the bassoon has never acquired a fashionable status among woodwind instruments.’
    • ‘Their difference is the shawm has only one bore, the dulcian has two and it is folded at the bottom.’
    • ‘The shawm, baroque oboe, baroque bassoon and dulcian can overblow without the use of a thumbhole.’
    • ‘The dulcians have a removable plug to convert their instruments from open to closed bell models.’
    • ‘Sackbuts are the forerunners of the modern trombone, and dulcians of the modern bassoon.’
    • ‘The band includes 3 cornetti, 2 trombones, 3 dulcians, chitarrone, and organ in various configurations.’
    • ‘Another marked difference between the bassoon and the dulcian is that as was common with other Renaissance instruments, it came in a consort or family.’
    • ‘One of the set of seven dulcians from the Este collection in Catajo, now in Vienna, is built in three separate joints like a bassoon.’
    • ‘Bring your crumhorns, cornamusen, racketts and dulcians to play and share.’
    • ‘As a result of this attention to detail, our dulcians are delicate instruments which can be played with many nuances and which always produce a full and rich tone.’
    • ‘Voice, shawms, and dulcians will bring to life the rarely heard music of early Guatemalan manuscripts, found in Bloomington's own famed Lilly Library.’
    • ‘The dulcian was made in several sizes and has a range of about two and one-half octaves.’
    • ‘Shawms, sackbuts, dulcians, recorders, krummhorns, bagpipes, lutes, guitars and percussion provide the fascinating aural dimensions to an entertaining Piffaro performance.’
    • ‘The Gabrieli Players, an ensemble of cornetts, shawms, dulcians, sackbuts, and recorders, bring to life here the rich world of the Spanish wind band, used often in Spanish cathedrals.’
    • ‘Follow Piffaro on an enchanting journey into the musical world of shawms, sackbuts, slide trumpets, dulcians, racketts, krummhorns, recorders, bagpipes, lutes, guitars, and all manner of percussion.’
    • ‘As for Alvanchez, he shall play tenors and the dulcian.’
    • ‘The curtal (or dulcian as it was known in Germany) has a conical bore doubled into a ‘U’ to produce a much more compact instrument than for example the larger shawms.’
  • 2Any of various organ stops, typically with 8-foot funnel-shaped flue pipes or 8- or 16-foot reed pipes.


Mid 19th century from German Dulzian, or a variant of dulciana.