The rackett is one of the most curious
instruments from the renaissance period. The objective was to get
an extreme length of bore in as short an instrument as possible.
The bore thus doubled back on itself, not merely once (as in
bassoons etc) but six times or more. The example shown has seven
drillings within the body, giving a bottom note two octaves below
middle C within an instrument barely six inches long. Fingering for
racketts is "tricky", with more complex instruments also employing
finger joints and palms of the hands to cover holes.
Renaissance racketts range in size from alto to
great bass and have a range of around one and a half octaves.
The rackett shown here is a tenor, constructed
from padouk and laburnum.