Definition and background:
A device used from the 14th through 17th century to cover the double reed of the crumhorn and other similar instruments. It is basically a wooden tube that totally covers the double reed and prevents the performer from touching it. The performer blows through a hole at or near the top of the wind cap to play the instrument. Without the ability to touch the reed with the lips, the performer has limited control of the range of notes available to be sounded. Specifically, it prevents overblowing which limits the pitches to the first harmonic.See also reed cap; [Ger.] windkapsel. cylindrical cap with blowhole that set the reeds in motion. Used principally on crumhorns
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary