Definition of musette in English:



  • 1A kind of small bagpipe played with bellows, common in the French court in the 17th–18th centuries and in later folk music.

    ‘To make matters worse, ‘musette’ was also given to the bagpipe musette de cour, amongst others.’
    • ‘Examples of bellows-blown bagpipes include the Northumbrian small-pipes, the Scottish Lowland or Border bagpipe, the Irish uillean bagpipe, the musette, and the dudy.’
    • ‘Oppermann's legend was assured and to this day old timers still refer to musettes as ‘Oppy bags’, since the Australian is credited with inventing them.’
    1. 1.1A tune or piece of music imitating the sound of the musette, typically with a drone.
      ‘The racist suspicions of the French toward Mediterraneans underlay the eventual ironic triumph of Italian accordion music as the defining Parisian sound of hal musette.’
      • ‘A jazz outing with the feel of many genres - klezmer, tango and musette - this is a true world music played by a quintet of reeds, accordion, violin, trombone (doubling on tuba) and drums.’
      • ‘The trio bring their mastery of flute, bouzouki and accordion to bear on traditions as diverse as musette and klezmer, reminding us of the common threads that run through music the world over.’
      • ‘Their music was a mix of jazz, French musette, flamenco, and east European styles.’
      • ‘How is it that the French musette - a pre-WWII pop music with rustic roots and a prototypical audience of knife-wielding proletarians - sounds to contemporary American ears like the very essence of elegant sophistication?’
      • ‘The highly acclaimed six-piece ensemble fuses the wild gypsy rhythms of eastern Europe with hot club swing and jazz, audaciously combining Hungarian, Russian and Romanian gypsy styles with tango, swing, klezmer and French musette.’
      • ‘A manic mix-up of Gallic musette, American blues, gypsy jive and gin mill boogie-woogie, their sound may not be futuristic but it will trigger that primitive urge to shake a tail feather.’
    2. 1.2A dance to a musette, especially in the 18th-century French court.
      • ‘Following a wave of immigration from the rural French Auvergne region to Paris, the hicks from the sticks brought with them the musette dance - named after an early precursor to the accordion that was central to the music.’
  • 2A small, simple variety of oboe, used chiefly in 19th-century France.

    ‘The piccolo oboe or musette used to be a bagpipe chanter and was very popular at the time of Marie-Antoinette at the French Court in Versailles.’
    • ‘The second became the desire to do the same thing for all five oboes from musette to bass.’
    • ‘Exceptions are the zampogna, the musette, and the uillean pipes, which have double reeds throughout.’
  • 3

    (also musette bag)
    US A small knapsack.

    ‘As we prepared for the day's march, my head felt a bit sore from some hard object in my musette bag.’
    • ‘When suture material ran short in the middle of one operation, one of the nurses ran for her ‘musette bag’ of personal hygiene items and found ‘a spool of white thread… and they sewed up his bladder with that.’’
    • ‘This musette bag is made from waterproof and ultra quiet stealth cloth with a waterproof rubber backing.’
    • ‘The boys tossed out personal gear from their musette bags and filled them with ammunition.’
    • ‘The 250 of us assigned there dropped our packs, duffle bags, rifles, barracks bags and musette bags.’
    • ‘In fact, the eventual winner took on no food nor musette bag at the Brest control and carried only three water bottles.’
    • ‘Our bedrolls were back with the rest of the troops, but we opened up the musette bags we carried, which contained extra socks and underwear, toilet kits, a blanket and half a canvas pup tent.’
    • ‘Many types of ‘dispatch bag’ or ‘map bag’ canvas carriers were in use in addition to the musette bag which could be a pack or a shoulder bag.’
    • ‘Thirty musette bags filled with two bottles, two gels, two bars, two candy bars, two pastries, and some fruit are made.’
    • ‘I have always thought that the musette bags are hung with the buckles facing back towards the body so that after landing the bag could be quickly swung over the head to its normal carrying position.’
    • ‘A musette bag holds food and drinks and gets handed to the Tour riders in the feed zone.’
    • ‘My compass is the same one that my dad had in his musette bag 60 or so years ago.’
    • ‘These military backpacks are cool to wear, and designed to fit comfortably and snug as you hold the weight to the natural center of your back.’
    • ‘The musette bag had a few variations including the standard canvas type shown, a thick water-resistant treated material, a rubberized canvas material (also for waterproofing) and a rare HBT construction.’



/myo͞oˈzet/ /mjuˈzɛt/


Late Middle English from Old French, diminutive of muse ‘bagpipe’.