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. Appearing (in its
modern form) in the 19th century, the bassoon figures prominently in
orchestral, concert band, and chamber music literature.
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. The reed is attached to a curved metal mouthpiece called a "crook" or "bocal" which is joined to the main part of the instrument. This consists of two parts called ?bass joint? and ?wing joint? (or ?tenor joint?). These two are joined at the bottom by a U-shaped piece called the ?boot?. At the top of the instrument is the ?bell joint?.
The instrument is quite heavy. Some players have a neckstrap around their neck to support the weight, but usually they use a seat strap that connects at the bottom of the boot and the strap goes across the floor.
The bassoon is held to the right side of the bassoonist and the top of the boot joint is usually level with the player?s hip. The bassoon requires the right training cause, when played right, can sound very beautiful.