History and Information about the Bassoon
The bassoon is a double-reed instrument was developed in the late 17th century, and is related to an older instrument called a dulcian. The modern bassoon is usually made out of maple wood with metal keys, and consists of 6 parts or pieces that must be fitted together before playing: the bell, the bass or long joint, the boot, the wing joint, the bocal or crook, and the reed. It is called a double-reed instrument because there is no mouthpiece, but only two reed segments that vibrate against each other to produce sound. When you take bassoon lessons, you will have an extensive number of pieces to choose from, including several prominent and featured solos from the classical repertoire.
When to Start on the Bassoon
We recommend starting the bassoon around age 10 or 11. Younger students may not possess the lung capacity or facial muscles (required for a correct embouchure) for this somewhat difficult instrument, so these students are encouraged to start on a different woodwind instrument, such as clarinet or flute, and then switch to bassoon when they are physically able. Additionally, private lessons are HIGHLY recommended when starting the oboe, as producing a quality sound requires some very specific techniques. The bassoon also requires a certain amount of care, since it must be reassembled each time it is taken out and disassembled every time it is put away.
Getting a Bassoon
Please call us so we can recommend a store from which you can purchase or rent a bassoon. For very young students, it is recommended to rent instruments for two reasons: 1) they will most likely grow out of instruments quickly and 2) they may lose interest (although we hope they don’t!).
Purchasing Books and Supplies for Your Bassoon
Most books and many supplies such as reeds are available online. Give us a call for local store recommendations. Your instructor can tell you which books and supplies are appropriate or needed.
**Feel free to call us at 631-476-8946 with any questions you may have. We can help provide you with additional resources.