That instrument is always lurking at the back of an orchestra in the woodwind section - the bassoon rarely gets a mention. But, the Young Classical Artists Trust’s new artist, Theo Plath, is paving the way for the Bassoon and bringing it to the world's stages as a solo instrument.
Here are some top facts about Theo’s instrument:
- Bassoons come in two sizes: the bassoon, and the double bassoon or contrabassoon, which sounds an octave lower than the bassoon.
- Early bassoons were made out of harder woods, but the modern instrument is typically made of maple.
- Bassoons are made up of several parts including tenor or wing joint, the double or butt joint, the long or bass joint, the bell joint, and the crook or bocal.
- The “compact” version of the double bassoon stands at 122cm tall with a bore length of 5.5m.
- The modern contrabassoon is folded several times to make its great length more manageable.
- A mute is sometimes used in order to help play the instrument softly. The effect is made either by stuffing a piece of cloth into the bell of the instrument.
- German bassoon gradually became more universal. The global standardisation of the bassoon types in the 21st century has been brought on by the ever-increasing demands of conductors and recording producers for the power of sound, homogeneity and balance.
"The bassoon is my personal voice to express the most genuine emotions. I love the characteristic sound, changing between jolly, mournful, soft and tender."
Find out more about Theo, here theoplath.de
Information for this post was sourced from the “Bassoon” entry by William Waterhouse and James B. Kopp in The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, 2nd ed.