The Bassoon is a woodwind instrument and forms part of the double reed family. Like its family member the Oboe it’s pitched in C, but the bassoon is an octave lower. Music for the bassoon is usually written in Bass and Tenor clefs and on the odd occasion treble.

The oboe and bassoon are the most commonly known double reed instruments but also part of the family is the Tenoroon, Dilcian and also Contrabassoon. The Bassoon is a unique and wonderful instrument as it gives a lovely warm and dark tone; if you’ve never heard a bassoon being played I would recommend listening. Have a listen to the video below

Bassoons can come in many variations, from number of keys to short reach. The number of keys on a bassoon can start from 22 up to 28; extra keys on the bassoon will allow the player to use alternative fingering. A short reach Bassoon is built for smaller hands, so the keys on the bassoon are either extended or some holes closed to make it suitable.

A Bassoon consists of 6 parts


1. Reed: A double bassoon reed. The term double reed means there are two pieces of cane vibrating against each other.

2. Crook: The crook is a metal tube that connects to part 3, the reed also fits to the other end of the crook which would allow the vibration from the reed to travel through the instrument.

3 & 5. Tenor (Wing joint) and Long Joint (Bass Joint): These fit together which creates the tenor and bass notes.

4. Boot Joint (Bottom Joint) This is the heaviest part of the bassoon. On this joint you have a loop to connect your sling and also were the bird* fits.

6. The Bell: This amplifies the sound, it generally has one key but some Bassoons may have two.

* The bird is a simple device that you use to rest your hand whilst playing


Thanks for reading! If you have any questions please feel free to drop me an email or call 01283535333

About the author

After over a decades service Jonty left the Normans Team in 2018 to join the creators of pInstruments, Warwick Music. Originally a Tuba player Jonty developed a huge base of knowledge of all Brass instruments making him a true Brass specialist.