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Got my Schunda tárogató


Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
Hi folks--

I arrived back in Tokyo and my Schunda tárogató had arrived. I've had it apart for a quick oiling and cleaning and adjusting of keys. It's in amazing condition--looks almost new. There is almost no wear to the wood or the keys, finger holes still sharply cut, almost no tooth wear on the wooden mpc. It does need new pads, but it still plays well. It was found in Denmark (of all places) in a little antique shop in Copenhagen. My guess is that it was brought there 100 years ago, played a little bit by the original owner, and then left in a closet or attic for the better part of its life. All the other Schunda instruments I have seen are quite worn from being played, even those in museums and collections. This one is almost new.

It is also a bit unique for the keywork: It is two ring, like all Schundas, but it has alternate Eb on the left hand table and metal rollers on all the pinky keys--first time I've ever seen that. Also has a double octave key--never seen that on a Schunda before (what few I have seen on the net). The double octave key is not like Stowasser's, which is like that on oboe: one key for D to A, and the other for the higher part of the second octave. This is essentially a modified single key, with an extra lower key to improve intonation on the D and make a long C# possible.

The bore is quite different than that of a Stowasser: larger at the top with a significantly narrower cone angle.

For a player, the Stowasser is definitely the better bet. Two ring models all have certain problems: flat middle C#, and seemingly also (IME) a somewhat flat second octave A. The Schunda is pretty decent, but not perfect. The wide upper bore makes short-tube notes very flexible, and the upper 2nd octave is a bitch. Lower E is also a bit flat, another common problem. Still it has character and charm.

I'm going to do some pics and post something on my website. I'll let you all know when it is up.


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
That's a really nice write-up, kymarto.