Pommer, also called bombard (Italian: bombardo) is a noble, loud double reed woodwind instrument. Its sound is more subtle than the shawm and it is the ancestor of the oboe.
It used to be made of two parts, the lower part contained a characteristic fontanelle under which normally a brass key was hidden. In many museums there are original pommers without this key.
Sometimes the reed was hidden in a wooden cover called pirouette, like in the shawm.
Pommers were made of maple, sycamore or fruit tree wood.
The bore is conical with a goblet at the end. This instrument is very dynamic and loud, which is why it was popular for playing in the open air with trombones and drums, for example during battles. It was also used to play church and court music with lutes, flutes, cornetts, viola de gamba etc.
This instrument was popular in the whole Europe from Middle Ages till early Baroque. Now it is made in simple version to play folk music, eg. in France or Spain.
Michael Praetorius in Syntagma musicum distinguishes as many as seven sizes of pommers: sopranino (h’ – h”), soprano (d’ – a”), high alto (g – d), alto, (c – g) tenor (G – g’), bass (C – h) and contrabass (F1 – e).The last of them was about 3 meters long.