So, the bassoon… An instrument that a bit like the Cor Anglais tends to make people laugh rather than listen to seriously. This is a pity, as in fact it is an instrument that has considerable gravitas when needed as I hope to show you here.
What is a Bassoon?
Lets get this out of the way first, so we know what it is I am talking about. A definition of the bassoon would be as follows…….
The bassoon is a woodwind instrument in the double reed family that typically plays music written in the bass and tenor clefs, and occasionally the treble. The bassoon is a non-transposing instrument known for its distinctive tone color, wide range, variety of character and agility. Listeners often compare its warm, dark, reedy timbre to that of a male baritone voice. Someone who plays the bassoon is called a bassoonist.
So now you know what it is at least, now lets have a listen to what it actually sounds like to start us on our way.
That tiny extract from Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, being Grandfather’s theme, gives a pretty good idea of the sound of this rather pleasing instrument. And as you can hear, nothing intrinsically funny about it either.