Kortholt The kortholt is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. It was popular in the Renaissance period. The name comes from the German kurz (becoming kort) meaning short and holz (becoming holt) meaning wood. This refers to the characteristic low sound that belies the short length of the instrument.

The kortholt is a capped reed instrument. Its construction is similar to that of the chanter of a bagpipe. A double reed is mounted inside a chamber. Blowing into the chamber produces a musical note. The pitch of the note can be varied by opening or closing finger and side holes along the length of the instrument.

The kortholt is actually double bored, similar to the modern bassoon. The cylindrical bore is doubled up inside the instrument producing a sound much lower than normally would be possible from an instrument of that length.