Sydney Recording Studio: The bassoon is a musical instrument in the woodwind family. Many believe the bassoon to be derived from the dulcian – which is another double reed woodwind instrument from the 1500s, but others believe the bassoon was a completely new invention. It is commonly believed that the true inventor of the bassoon was Martin Hotteterre that created the first bassoon in the 1650s in four sections (wing joint, boot, bass joint, and bass). In the 1800s the bassoon was refined for use in concert halls and for greater playability. The bassoon is used in a variety of music styles including classical, jazz, and modern and popular music.
Sydney Recording Studio: Interesting Bassoon Facts
The bassoon is known for its wide range, distinctive tone, and warm sound that is comparable to a baritone male vocalist.
A Sydney Recording Studio musician that plays the bassoon is referred to as a bassoonist.
The word ‘bassoon’ is derived from the French word ‘basson’ and the Italian word ‘bassone’.
The bassoon is a four foot long instrument. The tube inside would stretch to eight feet if straightened out.
To play the bassoon the bassoonist must use every finger and their thumbs as well.
The parts of a bassoon include the bell joint, reed, crook, pads, bass joint, rod system, keys, wing joint, hand rest, and butt.
The bassoon’s mouthpiece is made of metal and it is curved and joined to the instrument’s main part. The mouthpiece is referred to as a bocal or a crook.
The reed of a bassoon’s mouthpiece is an inch in width and longer than 2 inches. This makes the bassoon’s reed one of the biggest instrument reeds used.
Because the bassoon is a heavy instrument the bassoonist will often use a neck strap to help support its weight while playing.
German bassoons have a white ivory ring at the bell joint’s top and these bassoons are referred to as heckles.
French bassoons are referred to as buffets and do not have the ivory ring. They also sound different than the German bassoon.
The German bassoon is the most popular version of the instrument and is most common in North America while the French bassoon is more common in Belgium, France in South America.
In Italian the bassoon was originally referred to as a fagotto.
The contrabassoon is considered to be the lowest pitched orchestra instrument.
Sydney Recording Studio The bassoon is often confused with the oboe. They are both double reed instruments but are not the same at all.
Bassoonists make their own reeds, which is not necessary for most other instruments.
The price of a bassoon can range from $3000 to $25,000 or more depending on the quality of the instrument. Because of its price and because of its difficulty in learning to play it is not usually the first woodwind instrument children learn to play in school. They usually start with a clarinet.
Musicians considered to be notable bassoonists include Archie Camden, Hugo Fox, Simon Kovar, William Waterhouse, and Julius Weissenborn, among many others.
Many Sydney Recording Studio composers have written parts for the bassoon including Johann Sebastian Bach, and Ludwig van Beethoven.