One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A shawm (wind instrument) of alto pitch, used in medieval bands and in Breton folk music.
- ‘The most popular Breton folk instruments are the biniou (a small bagpipe) and the bombarde, which is similar to an oboe.’
- ‘The biniou is usually heard in duet with a rustic shawm (the bombarde).’
2A powerful bass reed organ stop.
- ‘The Williams Organ has one manual keyboard each for the Bombarde, Swell, Great, and Choir organs and the manuals are referred to (from top to bottom) by those names.’
- ‘It is quite possible when used at full strength, to play a solo on the bombarde against the full great and swell coupled together.’
Late Middle English: from Old French, denoting a shawm (see bombard).
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