Construction and function - Philipp Dangas

Construction and function

Construction and function graphic can be enlarged. It is Link-Sensitive [Clickable].

Components of the Bassoon in small representa­tion

The modern bassoon is a tenor and bass woodwind instrument with a double reed . Its name (Italian fagotto = "bundle") derives from its multi-part design.

It consists of 2 adjacent wooden tubes, mostly made of maple wood. These are connected by a U-shaped drilled tube made in one piece (“boot”). The overall bore of the tube is conical (from 4 to 40 mm inner diameter).

The conical expansion runs from the mouthpiece to the sound hole. The total length of the reed, including the mouthpiece, is 2.59 m in the Heckel Bassoon. The instrument is shortened to 132-135 cm due to the U-shaped kinking of the reed. It consists of 5 individual parts

narrow curved metal tube to which the double-reed mouthpiece is attached,
2.(small) wing joint
the narrowest part of the pipe after the „S“
3.(butt)or boot
which contains the U-shaped bend of the tube
4.(long joint) or bass joint,
or also referred to as a bass rod which is fixed next to the wing in the boot (double hole).
5.(linters put on in B or A) The bell

The individual tube parts are attached to each other with metal rings. Today the bassoon is generally built according to the Almenräder-Heckel system . It has 21 to 22 keys and 5 open finger holes, namely 3 in the small wing and 2 in the boot piece.

The player holds this diagonally in front of him, tilting it up towards his left hand, with which he operates the upper keys and tone holes. The right hand operates the keys and tone holes on the boot piece. The instrument is held at its upper part by a strap placed around the player's neck.

The following sound file is a example of the bassoon sound [music by Dmitri Shostakovich] Download size: 198 kilobytes
Key data on the functional principle of the woodwinds
Component/Techology Function
1. Mouthpiece The player stimulates the air column in the instrument to vibrate.
2. Single reed The back of the reed is flat and is placed against the mouthpiece.
3. Double reed For bassoon reeds are first split lengthwise then gouged to a certain thickness using a gouging machine.
4. Tone holes and keys With which the length of the oscillating air column.
5. Overblowing Playing the instrument in a higher register allows you to increase the blowing pressure.