Renaissance wind instr., ancestor of the bn., developed in mid‐16th cent. Had double reeds, single U‐tube, and conical bore. Name comes from Lat. curtus, short, and, like bombard, was borrowed from artillery, the curtal being a variety of short‐barrelled cannon. Bass curtal was known in Eng. as double curtal and had 2 keys (little finger and thumb). There were also the great bass curtal (an octave below the bass), and sop., alto, and ten. sizes.