bassoon

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bassoon Bass woodwind instrument with a range of three octaves, corresponding to that of the cello. It has a double-reed mouthpiece and a conical bore, the tube bending back on itself to reduce the instrument's length. Bassoons are used in symphonic and chamber music. The double bassoon or contrabassoon is the lowest-pitched woodwind instrument, sounding an octave below the bassoon.

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bas·soon / bəˈsoōn; ba-/ • n. a bass instrument of the oboe family with a double reed. DERIVATIVES: bas·soon·ist / -nist/ n.

bassoon

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bassoon (It. fagotto). Bass member of the double reed (ob.) family, pitched in C, with range from B♭′ upwards for about 3 ½ octaves. Made of wood and with conical bore. Dates from 1660s. Came to prominence as solo instr. in 18th cent. Vivaldi comp. 39 concerti for it. Others to use it as solo instr. incl. J. C. Bach, Telemann, and Boismortier. In 1774 Mozart wrote his concerto (K191). Modern instrs. made by Heckel (Ger.), Buffet-Crampon (Fr.), and Fox (Amer.). Often used for comic effect but its capacity for melancholy has not been overlooked by composers. Also an org. reed stop of 8′ length and pitch.

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bassoon XVIII. — F. basson, augm. f. bas BASS2; see -OON.