Bassoon or contrabassoon?
The bassoon is a woodwind instrument that produces sound in a low range, using a double reed, and has a distinctive shape, with a long tube that looks as though it has been folded in two. It was developed in the 16th century to add a stronger bass to the wind band ensemble. The bassoon is known for its distinctive tone wide range and agility. Modern symphony orchestras usually require two to four bassoonists with the lead player usually being required to play a number of solo passages. The bassoon can also be an effective bass to a woodwind choir.
In the 18th century, bassoons with three or four keys were most common. Then, in the second half of the 18th century, bassoons with six keys began to appear. However, the fingering varied depending on the manufacturer, and a standard design had yet to be established. The bassoon has a deep and soft sound, but also has a slightly nasal sound, just like the oboe. Air blown into a bassoon has a long way to travel: in a regular bassoon, it moves two-and-a-half metres before a note can emerge. In a contrabassoon, which is even bigger, the air has to travel five metres. A contrabassoon can play incredibly dark notes, so low that they almost growl.
In the process of choosing a bassoon, you need to ask yourself a few questions and find answers to them. Do you really need to buy a bassoon, or will the rent be enough? What is the difference between plastic and wooden bassoons? What accessories do you need?
The size of the instrument is the first thing you should look for when choosing a bassoon. The bassoon should fit perfectly in your hands. They come in two basic sizes – bassoon and contrabassoon, which sounds an octave lower. However, manufacturers have developed bassoons for people with different hand sizes, from very small to large.
Bassoons are typically constructed from plastic or wood. Plastic is a material that appears in all skill levels and, contrary to what some may lead you to believe, are a great choice for your child’s bassoon. Not only are plastic bassoons one of the most durable options, but they’re resistant to most humidity and temperature concerns. It’s also extremely affordable, which is a big reason why the majority of student and intermediate bassoons are manufactured out of plastic. For top-quality construction, wood is by far the most popular choice. Just keep in mind that wood bassoons are less durable and require much more maintenance than their plastic counterparts.
As you shop for bassoons, you’ll probably notice that a lot of the instrument and product descriptions make reference to a full “German System”. Also referred to as the Heckel system, the German system is played by most of the world’s bassoonists, both professional and amateur, while bassoonists in France, Belgium, and Latin America play the French, or Buffet, system. The difference in the two systems goes beyond its fingering, and expands to the reeds and the tone of sound produced. German system bassoons produce a thicker, darker sound, while the sound produced by French system bassoons is lighter.
A double reed is used to play the bassoon. The finishing of a reed varies between French and German bassoons: French reeds are beveled, whereas German reeds have a thicker spine down the center.
When it comes to playing the bassoon, purchasing the appropriate accessories is essential. You’ll need a swab cloth and a maintenance kit. If you’d prefer to purchase cleaning products outside of a kit, here’s what you’ll need: a polishing cloth, key oil, cork grease, and a clean duster. Remember, there are tons of accessories on the market to make learning and playing easy and comfortable.
Buy bassoon and bassoon accessories in our stores
Have a question or need more guidance? Visit our stores or contact us for more information. You can order the bassoon on our website musician.ua. You can always count on professional advice and assistance in choosing the right product. We care about the quality of service and do our best to make you happy with your purchase.