Cormorne French
Cromorne French
Cromhorne French
Crumhorn English?
Krummhorn German
Krumhorn German
Kromhoorn Dutch
Cremona English?
Cremorne (unknown)
Crommehorne French
Cornehorne French
Brumhorn German?
Brummhorn German?
Lituus Latin
Phocinx (unknown)
Storte German?

This is one of the oldest organ stops, first appearing in the late 1400's. It has varied in construction and timbre over the centuries. While it takes its name from the instrument of the same name, a capped reed with a curved body and a muffled, buzzing tone, the organ stop in its most familiar form has a tone resembling that of the Clarinet, though that tone did not develop, according to Williams, until the early 1800's.

In the classical French organ (1650-1790) it was the reed on the Positif: while the Positif might contain other reeds, and other divisions might contain Cromornes, no French classic organ of any size lacked one in its Positif. Here it was used as both a solo and a combinational stop; it was often specified in the titles of compositions, and it dominated the Grand Jeu of the Positif. It was usually made with narrow cylindrical half-length resonators. According to Dom Bedos, the Cromorne was seldom used in the Grand Orgue, but usually appeared in the Positif, but usually only in small instruments which did not have enough space for a Trompette, and rarely in large instruments. This contradicts other evidence, which shows that the Cromorne was an essential tonal ingredient of the classical French organ.

Wedgwood reports that the name Krummhorn was used for Clarinet stops which extended below tenor C, at a time when the Clarinet stopped at tenor C. Locher claims that it has a soft horn tone, and Audsley quotes Seidel as saying:

Properly ‘Cormorne’, from cor ‘horn’ and morne ‘mournful, still, soft’, signifying a soft, quiet Horn, is a lingual stop of a delicate intonation, of 8 ft. or 4 ft. pitch, of tin or pipe metal, open or shaded, and sometimes formed of small-scaled cylindrical pipes.

Clearly, neither Locher nor Seidel were describing the French classical stop. Bonavia-Hunt describes it as a loud, broad-toned Clarinet. The name Cremona is a corruption, and has other meanings.

Hopkins & Rimbault give a good example of how much knowledge regarding the Baroque had been lost by the Victorian period. That source claims: “The name Krumm-horn ... signifies a Cornet or small Shawm of irregular form. ... A Clarionet of deeper pitch ... is known in England as the Corno di Bassetto, and in Germany as the Krumm-horn (crooked-horn).” The krummhorn, cornet, shawm, and corno di bassetto (basset horn) are all, of course, distictively different instruments, as are the stops that bear their names.

See Chormorne, Litice, Syntheton.


Vox Humana Krummhorn


Osiris contains about 300 examples of Cromorne, about 20 dozen examples of Krummhorn, 17 of Kromhoorn, 16 of Krumhorn, 14 of Cromhorne, three of Crumhorn, and one of Cormorne. Most are at 8' pitch, with a handful at 16' and 4'. The earliest examples are listed below. See Cremona for examples of that name. No examples of the names Brumhorn, Brummhorn, Cornehorne (listed only by Williams), Cremorne (listed only by Locher), Crommehorne (listed only by Sumner), or Phocinx are known. Contributions welcome.

Cromorne 8'; Saint-Gervais, Paris, France; Langhedul? 1601. According to Douglass, this was the first appearance of this stop in Paris.

Cromorne 8', Grand Orgue; Chapelle des Jacobins, Paris, France; Enoc 1660.

Cromorne 8', Positif, Echo; Basiliek, St. Hubert, Belgium; Le Picard 1685.

Cromorne 8', Rugpositief; St. Salvator, Brugge, Belgium; Van Eynde 1717-19.

Cromhorne 8', Rückpositiv; Abbey Church, Marmoutier, France; Silbermann 1746.

Cromhorne 8', Boven-Clavier; Sint Servaas, Grimbergen, Belgium; Forceville 1751.

Cromhorne 8', Hauptwerk; Monastery Church, Neresheim, Germany; Holzhey 1792-98.

Cormorne 8', Positif; St. John's Episcopal Church, Hartford, Connecticut, USA; Austin 1949.

Crumhorn 8', Brustwerk; Dorfkirche, Steinkirchen, Germany; Schnitger 1685-87. Portions of this stop date from a 1581 organ by Hoyer.

Crumhorn 8'; Old North Church, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Goodrich 1821.

Crumhorn 8', Great; Old North Church, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Moore 1992.

Kromhoorn 8', Borstwerk; O. L. Vrouwkerk, Antwerpen, Belgium; Brebos 1565.

Kromhoorn 8', Hoofdwerk; St. Jacobskerk, Antwerpen, Belgium; Willem 1589.

Kromhoorn 4', Bovenwerk; Abbey of Averbode, Netherlands; van Heyst? 1630. Original organ by van Heyst 1517; Kromhoorn added during 1630 rebuild.

Krumhorn 8', Pedal; Katherinenkirche, Hamburg, Germany; Stellwagen 1543. This stop may have been added in 1606, 1636 or 1670.

Krumhorn 8', Oberwerk?, Pedal; St. Nicolai, Hamburg, Germany; Schnitger 1682-83 (destroyed).

Krummhorn 8', Ruckpositiv; St. Jakobi, Lubeck, Germany; Stellwagen 1636-37.

Krummhorn 8', Oberwerk; Marienkirche, Stralsund, Germany; Stellwagen 1653-59.

Storte; Jakobikirche, Innsbruck; 1513.

Sound Clips

See the Sound Files appendix for general information.

Krummhorn 8', Manual II University of Illinois, USA Buzard, 1986 arpeggio


Audsley[1]: Cormorne, Cromorne, Phocinx; Audsley[2]: I.XIII Cormorne; Cromorne. Bedos[1]: § 192, 200, 280-283, 976, 980. Bonavia-Hunt[1]: Clarinet. Douglass[1]: 89, 95-97, 108, 112-114. Grove[1]: Cromorne. Hopkins & Rimbault[1]: § 650-651. Irwin[1]: Krummhorn. Locher[1]: Cormorne. Maclean[1]: Krummhorn. Sumner[1]: Cormorne. Wedgwood[1]: Brummhorn; Clarinet; Phocinx. Williams[1]: Glossary: Cromorne.
Copyright © 2001 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
Krummhorn.html - Last updated 12 January 2008.
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