Who are the most popular bassoon makers?
Just like every instrument, there are hundreds of bassoon makers to choose from and this can be a very hard choice to pick the right bassoon to suit your sound/ style of playing. The most popular bassoon makers are; Heckel, Püchner, Yamaha, Moosmann, Fox and Mönnig. However, there are many more to choose from. The world’s most famous bassoon maker is the Heckel bassoon, named after its founder Johann Adam Heckel in around 1830. It was then taken over by his son, Wilhelm Heckel, who lived in Biebrich (near Wiesbaden, Germany). The Heckel bassoon is the most famous as each instrument has a rich sonorous tone, with a huge flexibility and great range. The instruments are so well designed and are incredibly reliable. People play on Heckel bassoons which were made a hundred years ago or more. They get better with age, not worse! However, due to the huge popularity of the Heckel bassoon, this means that they are not only very expensive but also incredibly hard to track down. People have to wait for years and years on the waiting list before they can receive a brand new Heckel now. This is also why brands like Yamaha and Puchner are incredibly popular. They produce fantastic instruments, which are not as expensive and easier to get hold of. Furthermore, different bassoons are popular in different countries. Fox bassoons are very popular in America and in the United Kingdom however are not so popular in Europe. This is simply due to different styles of playing and sound colours in different countries.
What does a bassoon cost?
The cost of bassoons has dramatically risen over the years, this is because the bassoon cannot be made by a machine, it must be handmade. Each bassoon requires hours of work to ensure that it is working and ready to be brought. The price of bassoons can vary dramatically, they can range from approximately €5,000 – €100,000 (for professional instruments). Luckily, due to the incredibly high price of the instruments, there are so many grants and scholarships for young bassoonists to apply for which will help a student or professional purchase their own instrument. Furthermore, sometimes specific orchestras will own bassoons which their members can play on.
Do I have to buy a bassoon or can I rent one?
Another way to have a bassoon, is renting. It is very common now for players to rent a bassoon every month which means they do not have to pay outright for a huge sum of money. If someone rents a bassoon, they can either pay every month to rent it or they can pay every month to eventually buy the instrument for themselves. So in little instalments rather than one big transaction. This is a great solution if somebody does not have the money immediately to purchase an instrument. Furthermore, lots of music schools or music services will offer special scholarships for students to rent a bassoon. This means that if someone does not have a lot of money, they can have financial help in obtaining an instrument. This would not normally be possible.
How do I find a case for my bassoon?
Cases for a bassoon are so important, you need a good quality case in order for your bassoon to remain protected and safe when travelling. Normally, when people buy instruments, a case is also included which is very useful. If a case is not included, Marcus Bonna sells brilliant bassoon cases, so do BAM and many more. For a regular bassoon case from Marcus Bonna, it will cost roughly €530, however prices do vary depending on whether you have a compact bassoon case or not. Nevertheless, as it is keeping the bassoon safe, it is well worth the investment and will last for many many years.