Serpent is a bass wind instrument. The name “serpent” in French means “snake”. This name is due to the curved body of the instrument, resembling a snake.
The instrument was invented at the end of the 1743th century in France. Inventor – Canon Edme Gilliam. The history of the invention was first published in XNUMX in the memoirs of Jean Lebe. Initially used in church choirs as an accompanying bass. Later it began to be used in opera.
In the XNUMXth century, the serpent was used by Jerry Goldsmith and Bernard Herman when recording soundtracks for Hollywood films. Examples: “Alien”, “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, “Doctor White Witch”.
The tool body usually has 6 holes grouped in 2 groups of 3. Early models did not have flaps on the finger holes. Late models received clarinet-style valves, but for new holes, the old ones remained common.
Case material – wood, copper, silver. The mouthpiece is made from animal bones.
The sound range of the serpent varies depending on the model and the skill of the player. Typically, the sound range is within two octaves below middle C and half an octave above. Serpent sounds rough and unstable.