Cromorne is a French woodwind reed instrument of uncertain identity, used in the early Baroque period in French court music. The name is sometimes confused with the similar-sounding name crumhorn, a musical woodwind instrument probably of different design, called "tournebout" by French theorists in the 17th century (Boydell 2001a; Boydell 2001c).
By contrast, the crumhorn (also known by names including crum horn, crumm horn, Krummhorn, Krummpfeife, Kumbhorn, cornamuto torto, and piva torto) is a capped double-reed instrument usually shaped like a letter "J" and possessing a rather small melodic range spanning a ninth (i.e. just over an octave) unless extended downward by keys or by the technique of underblowing, which increases the range by a perfect fifth (Boydell 2001b). However, this instrument was apparently little used in England--despite listings in the inventories of Henry VIII and the earls of Arundel at Nonsuch House, and mention in a poem by Sir William Leighton, they are conspicuously absent from inventories and other documents of English town waits (Boydell 2001b)--or France and was called a "tournebout" by French theorists including Mersenne (1636), Pierre Trichet (ca 1640), and even as late as Diderot (1767) (Boydell 2001a; Boydell 2001b; Boydell 2001c).
These instruments became an influence on Heckel as he gathered ideas for his Heckelphone, a wide-bore type of baritone oboe in C sounding one (not two, like the basse de cromorne) octaves lower than the oboe, that has been called for by a variety of 20th-century composers including Strauss, Copland, and Hindemith. This instrument is still manufactured by Heckel in Germany.
Jean-François Dandrieu - Basse de Cromorne from Organ Suite in D