2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:28
In this article we will look at the meaning of the word bassoon. This is a musical instrument whose history goes back centuries. It is an instrument of the lowest possible sounding of a wooden group. The bassoon is an interesting instrument. Its registers can include tenor, bass and alto sounds. Like the oboe, it has a double reed. This part is put on a curved metal tube. This extremely distinguishes the bassoon from many other musical instruments of this group. But let's talk about everything in more detail.
Features of the bassoon design
The bassoon has an interesting feature. His body, as it were, is doubled. This is what distinguishes him from the oboe. If its body had not been folded in half, then the instrument itself would have been too long. The bassoon is a musical instrument that can be taken apart. This is necessary for easy portability.
From the history of the bassoon
Due to the fact that it is complex in several parts, the musical instrument resembles a bundle of firewood. In fact, this is precisely what prompted theto get that name. Translated from Italian, the word "bassoon" means bundle.
The bassoon is a musical instrument that dates back to the sixteenth century. The material for the manufacture of this instrument was originally maple. This feature has been preserved to this day. The bassoon sounds more perfect in the lower register. While in the upper it has some nasal, tightness. This is his distinctive timbre feature.
Unusual bassoon sound
The bassoon timbre itself is a very beautiful and easily distinguishable sound. It's a very gentle tone. For this quality, this instrument bore the unusual name "dulcian". This is because the word dolce means "delicate" in Italian.
The nuances of the structure of the bassoon
There are about thirty holes on the bassoon body. At the same time, only a small part of them is covered with fingers. Mainly, the valve system is used. This musical instrument is used in wind and symphony orchestras. Nevertheless, it is quite possible to play solo numbers on it and use it in ensembles.
Like many other musical instruments of this group, the bassoon has undergone evolution in the process of its development. Like many wind instruments, it gained its greatest popularity in the nineteenth century, thanks to the German firm Haeckel.
Use in orchestra
Since the second half of this century, the bassoon has been an instrument entrustedlarge solo episodes in orchestral parts. This is in the conditions of the fact that initially this instrument merely duplicated the bass line in the orchestra. Since the bassoon is similar in playing technique to the oboe, it has, of course, some difference. Bassoon is a musical instrument, in the process of playing on which, breathing is spent less economically. This is due to the fact that there is a long column of air. As a result, you can easily notice jumps. At the same time, the change of registers is almost imperceptible, and the staccato stroke turns out to be quite sharp. If we look at contemporary music, we find the use of the bassoon in intonations less than a semitone. Usually it is a quarter or a third tone. As a rule, notes for this instrument are written in bass and tenor clefs. Although it must be said that the violin is occasionally used.
Besides, in many orchestras, it happens that the contrabassoon is used - this is a variant of the instrument that sounds an octave lower. In addition, the clarinet goes well with it. The bassoon is a classic enough instrument to be used in orchestras.
Bassoon in music
From the beginning of the eighteenth, until the middle of the nineteenth century, the bassoon began to gain popularity extremely quickly in various musical genres and, of course, compositions. One of the very first solo musical performances was recorded for the bassoon in a collection created by Bartolomé de Selma y Salaverde. This work was first presented in Venice itself, where the bassoon was given one of the most difficult parts. In particular, one must take into accountthat at that time there were only two valves on it. At the same time, he needed to play in a particularly large range. This range has been extended slightly down to the B-flat counteroctave.
Somewhere since the eighteenth century, the bassoon, improved in its structure, began to be used especially often in opera orchestras. Glinka used this musical instrument in his famous opera "Ruslan and Lyudmila". He did this because the bassoon's staccato notes sounded very perky and humorous. He managed to very sensually show the cowardly character of Farlaf with the help of this instrument. Two echoing bassoons played a very significant moment in conveying the character of the cowardly hero. In addition, the bassoon could, surprisingly, sound very tragic. Thus, in Tchaikovsky's rather famous Sixth Symphony, he plays a very mournful, heavy solo, which is performed by the bassoon. Its sound is accompanied by double bass.
But in many of Shostakovich's symphonies, the bassoon sounds in two ways. It acquires either drama and dynamism, or it sounds completely sad. Bassoon is an instrument that sounded by foreign authors. Bach, Haydn, Mutel, Graun, Graupner - all these composers have repeatedly written concertos for this instrument. In them, all the potential that is inherent in the bassoon could be fully revealed. The Mozart Concerto (B major) has become one of the most frequently played pieces.
Bassoon in Vivaldi's compositions
One of the most important parts of the history of this instrument are thirty-nineconcertos written by Antonio Vivaldi. In these concertos, Vivaldi created solo parts for the instrument, which surprise with their fast jumps and transitions from one register to another. There are long episodes and virtuoso passages. It is not surprising that such techniques came into fairly wide use only over time. Only in the process of evolution of the technological component of the instrument it became possible to use it so extensively and masterfully.
Can I learn to play the bassoon?
As you ask this question, you must understand that nothing is impossible. A person is capable of extremely much, and people are often limited by self-esteem and their own opinion of themselves. So how difficult is it to learn how to play a musical instrument like the bassoon? The most difficult thing in this process is to get up from the couch and buy an instrument, because, as mentioned above, the bassoon is an orchestral instrument, based on this, we understand that it is not as versatile as, for example, a piano or a guitar. However, this instrument has many famous sonatas and symphonies from a huge number of authors. You need to find yourself a teacher who could be your guide throughout your direct training. It can be some person from a music school or some private teacher. Seriously speaking, the bassoon is not the easiest instrument to learn, which is why many people give up the game as soon as they try it. However, if you askthe question of what is easy in our life, you will understand that learning and diligence in the chosen path will allow you to taste the sweet fruits of the results very soon.
The nuances of playing the bassoon
A regular bassoon is an instrument that has a little over three octaves. And although the number of notes is quite small, the musicians still manage to extract the sounds they need. Although this can be dangerous for the instrument during a concert, the very sound that is obtained from these octaves is dull and, to some extent, not always pleasant. The very timbre of the sound of the bassoon directly depends on the register in which you reproduce the sound. At that moment, when such a curious wind musical instrument as the bassoon appeared, classical music immediately acquired more expressiveness, and became somewhat richer in overtones. The bassoon timbre itself is very saturated with overtones. This is exactly what the unusual bassoon sounds like.
Reviews of listeners of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries regarding this musical instrument were very favorable. There were many true connoisseurs who admired its sound. And although the bassoon is an instrument without an inventor, since the name of the true author of this design remains unknown, nevertheless, the instrument has been fully appreciated by many composers. The sound of the bassoon is very recognizable, and you can easily isolate it from the orchestral part. For your information, in general terms, the technique of performing musical works on the bassoon resembles the techniqueoboe performances. The frequency range of the bassoon is from 58 Hz to 698 Hz, and the spectrum is up to seven kHz. Its sound is directed upwards, backwards and forwards.
Well, now you have learned about such a wonderful instrument as the bassoon. We wish you success in the musical field. And in the event that you like such a class of instruments as wind instruments, then take a closer look at the bassoon, but do not limit yourself to limits. Experiment!
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