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Sunday, 22 April 2012

Bassoon

The Bassoon is a double-reed woodwind instrument in C. It is the bass of the oboe family and lowest sounding of the four main orchestral woodwinds (the flute, clarinet, oboe, and bassoon).

Its direct ancestor is the dulcian, a hairpin-shaped instrument with a long, folded bore and a single key; developed in the first half of the 16th century, it remained in use until the 17th century.

The design of the modern bassoon owes a great deal to German composer Carl Almenr├Ąder (1786-1846), who, assisted by the German acoustics researcher Gottfried Weber developed the 17-key bassoon whose range spanned four octaves.

The bassoon doubles back on itself in a conical tube about 7.5 ft long and has a rich, deep tone.

The bassoon concert repertoire extends from the early Baroque via Antonio Vivaldi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Paul Dukas, to Karlheinz Stockhausen.

They are capable of dignified solos at high register, a famous example for bassoon being the eerie opening solo of Igor Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring (1913).

Several 1960s pop music hits feature the bassoon, including "The Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, "Jennifer Juniper" by Donovan, "59th Street Bridge Song" by Harpers Bizarre, and the one underlying The New Vaudeville Band's "Winchester Cathedral".

Sources Wikipedia, Hutchinson Encyclopedia © RM 2012. Helicon Publishing is division of RM.


 

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