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Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for Bassoon


The Bassoon is near and dear to my heart because my mom played.  When I was in high school, my whole family joined the community band.  It was the only time I got to see my mom play bassoon but it was a memory I will have forever.  The bassoon is a double reed instrument in the woodwind family.  It can be used in bands, orchestras and chamber music.  The bassoon has a baritone sound, similar to a man's voice.

A little Raiders of the Lost Ark anyone???  Listen here...



The bassoon contains 6 main pieces put together and is made of maple.  The pieces include the reed, the bocal, the wing joint, the boot, the bass joint and the bell.  The bassoon has 16 keys and spans a 4 octave range.

The most common basson is the German Heckel model.  This modern day bassoon was designed in large part by performer, teacher and composer Carl Almenräder.  In 1831, Almenrader started a factory with Johann Adam Heckel who continued to refine the bassoon.  These became the standard instrument used.



Peter and the Wolf narrated by David Bowie
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpoizq-jjxs

40 comments:

  1. Magnificent! I like how you have examples of the instrument in video.

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  2. Awesome! I don't believe I have ever heard of a Bassoon. It is quite an interesting instrument, though. I used to play the Clarinet for quite a few years in Middle and High School.

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    1. A lot of clarinet players end up playing bassoon in high school because it is such a difficult instrument. It has a very unique sound, doesn't it?

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  3. Like Kayla--I played the clarinet in middle school--along with the violin and piano--was never good at any of them. :) My brother got all the music abilities and is in 3 bands plus does stuff solo.

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    1. You must have been pretty good to play clarinet, violin and piano! They are all very different. I was terrible at piano! Your brother sounds very talented too.

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  4. Now this is probably going to be the most unusual "B" post of the day. How cool is that?
    Karen

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  5. Excellent!! Great info and very entertaining.

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  6. It actually looks like a very hard instument to play.

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    1. From what I hear, it is. I have never tried

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  7. There was a girl in my high school band who played the bassoon. Our conductor was beyond thrilled. The closest I got was oboe.

    M.J. Fifield
    My Pet Blog

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    1. A bassoon player is a band director's dream, but then again so is an oboe. Be sure to stop by for my "O" post :)

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  8. Haha, that's awesome that they played Raiders. Respect. Great challenge theme and happy A-Z blogging!

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    1. :) I wanted to make the videos fun and unusual. They are good, aren't they?

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  9. I loved the bassoon in Peter and the Wolf. I had a tape of that recording.

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    1. Me too! That is always what I think about when I hear it :)
      That is a classic piece for sure

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  10. I love the Indiana Jones movies. How neat to hear it played this way.

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    1. I love the Indiana Jones movies too. John Williams, the composer of that music and much more, is my favorite of all time!

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  11. Ah. I played the bassoon for a few months in high school, but I found it too hard to read the bass cleff when I was used to reading the treble cleff for flute. Of course I could read both when playing the piano, but I had trouble reading ONLY the bass cleff.

    Anyhow. Fun post. :)

    I'm a new follower from the AtoZ challenge. Nice to meet you.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and following! I had the opposite problem as you. I could read one clef at a time (Be sure to stop by for "E") but I had a hard time reading both to play piano.

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  12. I loved Peter and the Wolf growing up. The music in the tale was part of what instilled a love of Classical music in me. Grandfather was always my favorite character!

    *~MAJK~*
    Safireblade.com
    A to Z Challenge

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    1. Me too! Peter and the Wolf is a classic and I always think of basson when I hear it, although it introduces all the instruments.

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  13. I have learned something! The bassoon is in 6 pieces, not 14 as when a kid in our school band slammed a corner of a classroom wall. lol

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    1. Oops! Was it being used as a sword? I guess it is a good size for it :)

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  14. Popping in to say hello from the A to Z challenge. What an interesting subject for you to talk about all month long! I'm a musician-- flautist and vocalist and failed piano player-- and I was a teacher, but now I'm an artist by trade.

    Good luck with the remainder of this challenge! <3

    *~* Julia *~* http://beautifullywhimsical.blogspot.com *~*

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    1. You are an artist in every way Julia! Thanks for stopping by

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  15. Very informative. Love hearing the Raiders of the Lost Ark theme played that way. Have fun with the rest of the challenge!

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  16. You'll never see that one in a marching band anywhere! :) Very interesting! Thank you.

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    1. HA! No, it's a little hard to march with. Most bassoon players are converts of another instrument so I guess they march with that

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  17. You sure do know your bassoons. Music is such a soothing blend of the various instruments. A very good teaching theme. Right up my alley.

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    1. I did some research but I learned a lot in the process :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  18. Not too many people can boast being able to play the bassoon. How cool you all used to play together.

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    1. My mom was also a musician so my parents met when playing in an orchestra together. I guess it runs in the family :)

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  19. Raiders of the Lost Ark certainly sounds different here!

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  20. I think the bassoon makes a pretty awesome sound. I played the flute in high school in a wind ensemble, and the bassoons were right behind us. Great A-Z theme, and you have a new follower.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and following Sarah! That is cool that you were able to play in a group with bassoons. We didn't have any in our high school band.

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  21. Oh, my goodness! What a great tribute to such an under-rated instrument! I loved the accompanying video!
    Dawn

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