We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Bassoon?

Mary Elizabeth
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The bassoon is a member of the double reed group of woodwinds, which also includes bagpipes, baritone oboe, English horn in F, heckelphone, oboe and oboe d’amore. It comes in two forms: bassoon and contrabassoon or double bassoon. Contra usually indicates an instrument an octave lower than what it is named after, and this is the case here. Both forms are non-transposing instruments. The player is called a bassoonist.

A bassoon has five parts:

  • A crook or bocal is the curved metal tube that connects the body to the double reed.
  • The wing joint or tenor joint is where the crook connects and which runs parallel to the long joint.
  • The double joint or butt joint, also called the boot, is a u-shaped tube attached to the wing and long joints which contains the hand rest for the right hand.
  • The long joint is the longest piece of tubing and is parallel to the wing joint.
  • The bell ends the instrument. A longer bell can increase the instrument’s range downwards by a minor second.

The instrument was developed from the baroque bassoon, which had a similar shape but fewer keys, and was most used in the 18th century. Two models found today are the German Heckel and the French Buffet bassoon.

The bassoon and contrabassoon are both used in orchestral as well as band ensembles. Perhaps the most famous use of it in an orchestral work is either the part at the beginning of Russian-American composer Igor Stravinsky’s ballet, Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), Part I, “L’Adoration de la terre” (Adoration of the Earth), or as the grandfather in Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. There are also memorable passages in French composer Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen during the Entr’acte before Act II and in the very first bars of Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s overture to his opera Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro).

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary Elizabeth
By Mary Elizabeth , Writer
Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to writing articles on art, literature, and music for WiseGeek, Mary works as a teacher, composer, and author who has written books, study guides, and teaching materials. Mary has also created music composition content for Sibelius Software. She earned her B.A. from University of Chicago's writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont.

Discussion Comments

Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth

Writer

Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.