Is there any music lover who doesn’t hear the word bassoon and immediately think of those powerful passages from the Nutcracker or Peter and the Wolf? Waltz of the Flowers anyone? Even as I write this, I can hear the melodic notes of the bassoon adding a deep bass note to the accompaniment of a sweet flute. These folks do a lovely job – Banff Double Reed Ensemble.
As the name of that musical group hints, the bassoon is a double reed instrument. The instrument is composed of 5 pieces. When those pieces are fitted together, they form a wooden tube that’s around 8 feet long. The configuration of the bassoon has gone through a number of changes since it was originally designed. I won’t go into them here but the bassoon entry in the 1911 Encyclopedia contained a great deal of information along with this wonderful bassoon drawing.
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