In various late medieaval sources, the douçaine is described as a mellow and sweet sounding wind instrument. Its other name „imperfectus“ might be due to its limited range, as is typical for cylindrical reed instruments.

No instruments, or clearly identifiable illustrations, have been preserved and there is plenty of room for re-imagining them.

The Armenian-Turkish Duduk or Balaban matches renaissance descriptions of the douçaine. For this reason, my reconstruction of the douçaine is inspired by these instruments.

DouçainesComparison of a Turkish balaban (below) and a soprano douçaine: the reed of the douçaine is smaller and the holes have been adapted to match Western fingering.

DouçainesEntire range of douçaines: soprano in c‘, alto in f (g), tenor in c or B. The second alto douçaine has keys to extend its range.

DouçainesThe shape of the windcap is inspired by illustrations of shawm-like instruments in Spanish books.

The douçaine sound is full and soft and it can be dynamically varied. By adding two keys, the nine-tone range can be extended upward; even overblowing (similar to a clarinet) is possible.