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What is a Bassoon?

The bassoon is a unique double-reed woodwind instrument known for its distinctive tenor and bass notes. This amazing instrument plays a key role in concert bands, orchestras, and chamber music ensembles.


Bassoons measure approximately 4 1/2 feet in length, and are typically made from either maple wood or plastic composite materials. It is one of the two general categories of double-reed instruments in the world (the other is the oboe.)


Bassoons have 4 main components: The Bell, Long, Wing, and Boot joints. A bocal and reed are also needed to form the key parts of the bassoon where a musician channels air into the instrument. Another important accessory for bassoonists is the seat strap which is necessary when playing while sitting, or a harness that is used when performing while standing.


Some people will say that the bassoon sounds a little bit like what a cello might sound like if it were actually a wind instrument! It has a very unique tone, can extend across a very wide range of notes, exhibiting a variety of different characters and styles depending on the music and the way in which a musician chooses to play the bassoon. The bassoon can be deep, pensive and sorrowful. It can be curious, inquisitive and mysterious. It can also be light, comical, and whimsical.


Are you thinking about learning a new instrument?


Perhaps something new? Something out of the ordinary? Something that not a lot of people play?


Well, I certainly did. And that's why I chose the bassoon!



This is the first episode in the epic Boss Class mini-series, created as a fun introductory video for young musicians who might interested in learning more about the bassoon. (Check out the other episodes on the Boss Class section of the B.O.S.S. site!)



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