Construction and function of the Contrabassoon - Philipp Dangas

Construction and function of the Contrabassoon

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

Components of the contrabassoon in a small representation

The consistently conical, relatively narrow-bore contrabassoon tube, including the mouthpiece and the A bell, has a total length of 5.93 m.

As with the normal bassoon , the sound opening is directed upwards without any special expansion. The special A-lintel, which is placed on top of the upward-pointing lintel, lengthens the tube with a further bend of 180°, so that the conically widened opening is therefore directed downwards.

The double-reed mouthpiece, which is also attached to a metal tube (the so-called "S"), is correspondingly larger than that of the normal bassoon. The key system roughly corresponds to that of the normal bassoon, with the position of the keys and finger holes changing as a result of the quadruple kinking of the reed.

A representative example of the contrabassoon sounded [Music by Moussorgsky, Modest]
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Key data on the functional principle of the woodwinds
Component/Technology Function
1. Mouthpiece On the mouthpiece stimulates the air column in the instrument to vibrate.
2. Single reed Reeds designed for the same instrument look roughly identical, but vary in thickness.
3. Double reed Double reeds vibrate against each other. Not against a mouthpiece.
4. Tonholes and keys The length of the air column and thus the pitch can be changed.
5. Overblowing This technique allows the instrument to be played in a higher register by increasing the blowing pressure.