One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A double-reed woodwind instrument of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, with a squat cylindrical body in which nine parallel bores are drilled lengthwise to form a continuous undulating tube. Sometimes with preceding modifying word, indicating the size or pitch of the instrument, as "bass rackett", "tenor rackett", etc.
2Originally and usually rankett. An organ stop of the regal type, with short resonators and a soft tone, originally popular in the 16th cent., but now little used.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in John Stainer (1840–1901), musicologist and composer. From German Rackett, Racket, Rankett kind of organ stop, double-reed woodwind instrument used during the Renaissance and Baroque period; further etymology uncertain and disputed; it is also unclear whether the terms for the organ stop and the woodwind instrument were originally the same word.
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