Friday Reeds | Family Matters: Bassoon

Family Matters! On today’s  #Fridayreed we share some information on common and obscure double reed instruments particularly from the bassoon family! 
 
Bassoon - The bassoon evolved from a 16th century instrument known as the dulcian. The first of its kind were made from one large piece of wood, rather than the four separate sections common to the modern-day bassoon. It is the standard bass instrument in the wind section of the orchestra. Although most commonly heard in classic and orchestral music it is also heard in concert bands, wind ensembles and even jazz music!  It's beloved for its low, sonorous and rich sound. 
 
Contrabassoon – This instrument is twice the size of a bassoon and a full octave lower! It is less flexible than a bassoon, due to the amount of air needed to make the notes vibrate.The instrument is composed of nearly 16 feet of tubing. It typically appears in orchestral music!
 
Tenoroon (Quint Bassoon) – This rare instrument is pitched higher than the bassoon and can be heard in choirs.  It is often popular with beginners or younger children as it has less key work, is lighter and smaller than the traditional bassoon. 
 
Contraforte – This instrument is very rare and extremely large and low in sound. It has a wider bore than the contrabassoon producing a distinct tone.  It is predominantly heard in orchestral music.
 
How many of these instruments have you played?