What’s a bassoon made of?

Bassoons are made from maple wood, typically from Europe. The wood is carefully selected and must be durable and able to be varnished and treated. The instrument is then varnished and stained, which can differ between instrument makers and lead to each instrument being unique. Bassoons have keys, which have been added over time, and are made of nickel silver, coated in sterling silver for durability and aesthetics.

Which wood is used to make a bassoon?

As previously established, the bassoon is a woodwind instrument, therefore made of wood. However, the wood that is chosen for a bassoon is not just any random wood- it is carefully selected and has to be the perfect type of wood in order for the instrument to work well. Bassoons are made from maple wood, which is from maple trees. There are two different types of maple wood, (hard and soft) but for bassoons, hard maple is selected. This hard maple is typically from Europe and it allows instrument makers to build the bassoons with wood that is durable and able to to be varnished and treated. One the instrument is built, it is not instantly the distinct red colour that is commonly associated with bassoons, it has to be varnished and stained. This differs between instrument makers. For example, Yamaha and Heckel will both stain their instruments in different colours of varnish. It can also change between makers- if you take an old Heckel and a new Heckel they will be stained in different colours. This is great as it means that each instrument has a slightly different colour and is unique and special in its own way! 

Are there keys on a bassoon?

Once you have the bore of the bassoon with the holes for fingers drilled in, the next thing to finish the instrument is the keys! Without these, the instrument isn’t possible to play nor would it be of any use. Over the years of the bassoon developing, it has got more and more keys. Take a baroque bassoon compared to a modern bassoon, the modern bassoon has 22 or more keys whereas a baroque bassoon has 4/6 keys. The keys on the bassoon are made from nickel silver, which is why they have a shiny colour to them. Nickel silver is a very durable and stable material which normally does not rust. Funnily enough, nickel silver is made of copper, zinc and nickel – it actually contains no silver! To achieve this shiny coating outside of the keys, they are coated with sterling silver. Not only does this make them look aesthetically nicer, it also adds another layer to the key which makes it more robust. Furthermore, it prevents it from rusting as easily. If you do have a key which begins to rust on your bassoon, it is a very easily fixed and can be repaired quickly.

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How do I find a bassoon job in an orchestra?

When pursuing a bassoon position in an orchestra, focus your search on key websites: MUVAC, Musical Chairs, and Vioworld. These platforms are the primary hubs for orchestral job listings. Applying directly through these websites streamlines the process and keeps you informed about upcoming openings. Discover orchestral opportunities efficiently online and elevate your musical career.

Where do I find a bassoon teacher?

The first step in your bassoon journey is finding the right teacher. Ask friends for recommendations or explore online platforms that connect students with teachers. Find out if your school offers in-house lessons for convenience and integrated scheduling. Local music schools offer a comprehensive music education, including ensembles and theory in addition to one-on-one lessons. Advanced players can contact universities or conservatories to find accomplished professionals or aspiring virtuosos for one-on-one instruction. Take advantage of online resources, including questionnaires that match you with suitable teachers and often offer discounted first lessons. Remember, the key is to find an instructor who shares your musical aspirations and will encourage your growth as a skilled bassoonist.