Friday Reeds | History of the Bassoon

On today’s #fridayreed, we give you a small glimpse at a large instrument – the 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.

The bassoon is a woodwind instrument of the double reed family. Related instruments include the contrabassoon, sub-contra bassoon and the smaller tenoroon.

Fun fact: The earliest bassoons were a 3-key model and ranged from 15” to as long as 4’9”. Now, the bassoon is commonly made in four pieces, and 13 or more keys!

There are now 2 kinds of key work systems in common use. The Heckel, or German system and the Buffet, or French system. Both systems are equally still in use, but some countries and regions may favour one over the other.

The Bassoon is commonly heard in orchestras, concert bands, and wind ensembles. It also plays a significant part in contemporary and fusion music styles and it is even heard in rock and roll from time to time. It is typically used in bass settings but can be used as a melody instrument, because of its agility and extensive range.

Do you play the bassoon? How did you pick this amazing instrument? Tell us below! Check out the Legere Bassoon reeds here: