The Hümmelchen is a smallpipe. Like the Schäferpfeife it can be found in the Syntagma Musicum in which Michael Praetorius depicts and describes the instruments of the early 17th century..

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The Hümmelchen is characterized by its smooth, slightly nasal sound. Compared to other bagpipes it is much quieter, but still strong enough to assert itself when played with other renaissance instruments. Its pleasant sound make it the ideal indoor instrument.

The Hümmelchen is generally a mouth-blown bagpipe with a cylindrical chanter and two cylindrical drones which are combined in a shared stock. It is visually similar to the Schäferpfeife.

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The chanter is equipped with a double reed. It can be build using an open fingering like a recorder or a French half-closed fingering that has a wider chromatic scale. Main keys are C/F and D/G respectively or the lower tuning G/C. The gamut is a ninth.


The drones have a single reed and are tuned a perfect fifth or an octave apart. They can be retuned with an additional drilling, expanding the key range. The drones normally protrude forward, but they can be embedded in the bag so that they lean against the shoulder.