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About Bassoons


The Bassoon is a woodwind instrument that was developed in the 16th century to add a stronger bass to the wind band ensemble. From the double reed family, the bassoon plays in the tenor range and below. It is known for its distinctive tone, wide range and agility.

Six main pieces make up the bassoon, including the reed. The bell, extends upward; the long joint, connects the bell and the boot; the boot (or butt) is at the bottom of the instrument and folds over on itself; the wing (or tenor) joint, extends from boot to bocal; and the bocal (or crook), attaches the wing joint to a reed.

Bassoon players must learn three different clefs: Bass (first and foremost), Tenor, and Treble. The range of the bassoon begins at B-flat and extends upward over three octaves (comparable to the E on the treble staff).

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