It is possible that instruments from both traditions were combined into one entity. The tárogató has a Persian origin, and it appeared in Hungary during the Turkish wars. Up to about the 18th century, the tárogató was a type of shawm, with a double reed, conical bore, and no keys.
Because the tárogató was an iconic instrument of the Rákóczi’s War for Independence (1703–1711). Its use was suppressed in the 18th century by the Habsburg monarchy. The instrument was eventually abandoned being considered too loud for a concert hall.
In the 1890s a modern version was invented by Vencel József Schunda, a Budapest instrument maker. It uses a single reed, like a clarinet or saxophone, and has a conical bore, similar to the saxophone. The instrument is made of wood, usually black grenadilla wood like a clarinet. The most common size, the soprano tárogató in B♭, is about 29 inches (74 cm) in length and has a mournful sound similar to a cross between an English horn and a soprano saxophone. Other sizes exist; one maker, János Stowasser, advertised a family of seven sizes of which the largest was a contrabass tárogató in E♭. The new tárogató bears very little resemblance with the historical tárogató and the two instruments should not be confused. It has been suggested that the name schundaphone would have been more accurate, but tárogató was used because of the nationalistic image that the original instrument had.
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