There's plenty of videos and online descriptions of these, but: where does the air come out?

As an example,

shows racketts with the reed in the centre of the top, but the bottoms appear to be solid discs.

https://www.willandbeki.org/construction.html shows the construction of a renaissance rackett with nine bores so the air should emerge from the bottom, but again it appears to be a solid disc.

The baroque rackett at the above link has ten bores and it appears that the air exits (as expected) at the top, which suggests that the player might have had difficulty hearing other musicians that he was accompanying.

  • I’d love to know more about this. I’ve always been amazed at how low and loud this tiny instrument is! Commented Apr 29 at 12:28

2 Answers 2


In the earlier forms, the cylindrically bored channels emerged at the side or bottom of the instrument. The Baroque instrument had a modified conical bore, with the channels emerging at the top of the instrument. Source - Britannica. Thanks for revealing another rather odd old instrument. Not sure whether 'making a rackett' has much or anything to do with it, be good to find out...

  • I've found a design for a 3D-printable one at thingiverse.com/thing:4603388, and in this particular case it appears to have a small cluster of holes near the bottom facing the player. I don't know whether that is representative. Commented Apr 28 at 16:26

I've found a 3D-printable renaissance rackett at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4603388, with no indication of where the designer got his information. The remainder of this note focuses on the renaissance variant of the instrument, rather than the baroque one.

A view from behind and slightly below looks like this:

Rackett rear view

A cross-section confirms that those holes penetrate into the final bore:

Racket longitudinal section

This continues the theme seen at for example

enter image description here

from https://www.willandbeki.org/construction.html, which the author describes as

The hole arrangement on the rear of the instrument - some are blind and some are functional. This seems to have been done as as sort of riddle to confuse the novice player or the uninitiated, or else it was just done as a playful visual decoration. If you look carefully at the Praetorius drawings you can see similar hole patterns depicted.

However in this case it's unclear what orientation is intended by "rear", I'm a little dubious about whether any of those penetrate into the final bore since a single small hole would surely make the instrument difficult to play while two holes spaced an inch or so apart would destroy the tuning.

But perhaps it is intended that flow through the bore should be limited, which would imply that the slots in the pirouette are intended to allow air to escape from the sides of the reed and omitting them will change the character of the instrument. This is as opposed to for example a pibgorn Pibgorn reed making where the reed is fully enclosed.

On a practical note, plastic recorders and flutes have been accepted- at least for teaching- for many years, and I see no reason why a rackett printed with a high infill should not work out well. However if I were doing it I would have separate body, cap and base components, and I would even be tempted to make the cap and base out of multiple parts to make sure that the bore was smooth, and possibly lacquer inside and out for a final finish.

Finally, my apologies for answering my own question: on the variant of social media on which I cut my teeth 35 or so years ago such behaviour was frowned upon.

  • Yeah, no taboo on self-answering. I guess it has to do with the aspiration of SE to be a kind of resource work, that this question and its answers might be of help to the next person who wonders about the air path in a rackett. (Admittedly, "why won't my javascript work" might be more likely.) One might even open a question with the intent of immediately self-answering, and it would simply be leaving a resource for others. Commented May 10 at 17:31
  • I've seen a monograph of that nature in- I think- the physics area of SE. Commented May 10 at 17:48

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