Category: 

What is a Bassoon?

Article Details
  • Written By: Mary Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The CDC reported that eight foods, including peanuts and milk, account for 90% of food allergies.  more...

October 25 ,  1971 :  The United Nations expelled Taiwan and admitted China.  more...

The bassoon is a member of the double reed group of woodwinds, which also includes bagpipes, baritone oboe, English horn in F, heckelphone, oboe and oboe d’amore. It comes in two forms: bassoon and contrabassoon or double bassoon. Contra usually indicates an instrument an octave lower than what it is named after, and this is the case here. Both forms are non-transposing instruments. The player is called a bassoonist.

A bassoon has five parts:

The instrument was developed from the baroque bassoon, which had a similar shape but fewer keys, and was most used in the 18th century. Two models found today are the German Heckel and the French Buffet bassoon.

The bassoon and contrabassoon are both used in orchestral as well as band ensembles. Perhaps the most famous use of it in an orchestral work is either the part at the beginning of Russian-American composer Igor Stravinsky’s ballet, Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), Part I, “L’Adoration de la terre” (Adoration of the Earth), or as the grandfather in Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. There are also memorable passages in French composer Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen during the Entr’acte before Act II and in the very first bars of Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s overture to his opera Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro).

Ad
Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email