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A musette de cour (sense 1.1).[n 1]
A musette (sense 1.2) or piccolo oboe is a type of small oboe which evolved from the chanter or pipe of bagpipes.
Norwegian professional cyclist Thor Hushovd with a musette (sense 2) around his neck during the 2011 Tour de France.

From both of the following:[1]

Sense 2 (“small bag or knapsack with a shoulder strap”) is due to the resemblance of the original knapsack to the bag of bagpipes.[3]



musette (plural musettes)

  1. (music)
    1. (historical) Any of various small bagpipes having a soft sound, especially with a bellows, which were popular in France in the 17th and early 18th century. [from 14th c.]
      Synonyms: pastoral oboe, shepherd's pipe
      1. (by extension) A pastoral air or tune that has a drone imitating such an instrument; also, a dance performed to this music. [from 18th c.]
    2. (historical) An organ stop using reed pipes with cone-shaped resonators, found in organs in France in the 17th and 18th centuries. [from 19th c.]
    3. A small oboe without a cap for its reed, which evolved from the chanter or pipe of bagpipes; a piccolo oboe. [from 19th c.]
      Synonyms: oboe musette, piccoloboe
  2. (chiefly US, originally military) In full musette bag: a small bag or knapsack with a shoulder strap, formerly used by soldiers, and now (cycling) chiefly by cyclists to hold food and beverages or other items. [from 20th c.]
    (cycling): Hyponym: bonk bag

Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ From the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, U.S.A.


  1. ^ musette, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022; “musette, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  2. ^ mūsette, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  3. 3.0 3.1 † muse, n.2”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2021.

Further reading[edit]



From Middle French musette, Old French musette (type of bagpipe), from muse (bagpipe) +‎ -ette (diminutive suffix). Muse is a deverbal of muser (to play the bagpipe; (figuratively) to flatter), perhaps from musel (muzzle (protruding part of an animal’s head)) (alluding to a bagpipe player puffing out the cheeks), from Late Latin mūsus (muzzle); further etymology uncertain, perhaps expressive of protruding lips and/or influenced by Latin mūgiō (to bellow, low, moo), from Proto-Indo-European *mug-, *mūg- (onomatopoeia of the lowing of cattle).



musette f (plural musettes)

  1. musette
  2. bagpipe
  3. Ellipsis of bal musette.
  4. haversack (small bag for provisions)
    Synonym: havresac
  5. nosebag (round sack or bag to feed for a horse)

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]




musette f

  1. plural of musetta