The bassoon derives from an old 16th-century instrument called a bombard, with a deformed appearance, about ten feet high and difficult to handle, arguments that led Afranio Degli Albonesi, from Ferrara, to conceive in the 1525s a new instrument, in which the body bent several times gives the impression of several tubes connected. In this way, the length is shortened and the handling becomes easier.
Improvements followed one another until the second half of the 19th century when we must mention the name of Triebert (the well-known builder of the oboe), who also added the most decisive improvements to the modern bassoon.
Therefore, it is composed of a main tube, doubled by a secondary one, bent at the end. It is about 7 feet long and the tone is grave.
How Much Does a Bassoon Cost?
Basson prices depend on many factors including the brand, the producer, and the quality. This musical instrument is one of the most expensive on the market these days, with an average price anywhere between $4,300 and more than $21,000 for a new one. The cheapest are the basic models and the ones for students, while the rare instruments manufactured from quality wood materials will be worth a lot more. However, an average Basson would cost anywhere between $5,500 and $12,000. It is important to go through all the reasons for which you want a Bassoon before purchasing one as this instrument is not that cheap. According to the BrandDirector.com website, the majority of the students would buy a Bassoon because the instruments their school offers are not that good.
The top-rated bassoons from Woodwind Brasswind are sold for $6,500 to $31,000.
The perfect bassoons for children or people who are at a beginner level with this instrument are the ones made of plastic. These could cost anywhere between $2,000 and $4,800. Depending on the brand, a wood bassoon would cost $3,300 to $9,500.
For a used bassoon expect to pay only between $700 and a maximum of $12,500. For instance, the price for a Fox Model IV Bassoon is anywhere between $5,100 and $6,500, while the Orpeho Bassoon, which comes with a case would set you back $1,700 to $3,000.
The highest prices can be found at the Heckel Bassoon, where you will usually find quite the waitlist. Here a bassoon cost $31,000 to $51,000. This high price is due to the customized features. According to a member of Reddit.com, the waitlist is close to eight years and the last instrument was sold for almost $51,000.
In the table below you will find the price estimates for some of the most known bassoon brands.
|Fox Renard Bassoon
|7K: $1,600 (used)
|– Original: $4,500 (used)
– Model 1000: $14,000
|– 812 Custom: $23,000
|– Model S16: $10,900
– Model S31: $12,900
The bassoon is a tube divided into two parts, made of ebony wood or rosewood. The inner opening of the tube is conical and extends outwards through a thin longer and curved pipe, at the end of which you will notice the double reed. On the perforated tube the flaps and their handling mechanism, and Boehm system are applied, all adapted to the specifics of the bassoon.
There are about 30 holes in its structure, and a small number of them are covered by fingers at the time of singing, thus making tender sounds. Looking at the unusual sounds of the bassoon, a specific timbre can be noticed. It is extremely easy to distinguish, with an extremely delicate tone that delights all listeners.
This musical instrument is used in symphony orchestras. However, it is also found in solo numbers or ensembles.
The instrument with which it can best work in combination is the cello, with similar timbres. This is due to the fact that the bassoon was designed to double the bass line in the orchestra.
What are the extra costs?
This instrument can be customized to your needs and preferences. For instance, one of the most common customizations is adding a range key, like a high D key. Depending on the key, it may cost $330 to $750 at a well-known music store.
In order to make sure your instrument is protected against wear and tear during transportation you will need a case.
A stand or a seat strap is also required for holding the instrument while playing.
Important things to consider
In order to truly master this instrument, you must learn three different clefs: bass-clef (B-flat), tenor staff, and treble note. The range will extend from B-flat up through 3 octaves similar in style with an E played on the treble staff.
The bassoon can play in a range from Bb1 to E5 and even higher than. But, it can also reach as low as A1. To do so, it requires an extension tube. The low Bb would be unavailable if such a tube is used.
Oboe vs. Bassoon
The bassoon and the oboe are both double reed woodwind instruments that have been played for centuries. They’re slightly different, though.
Compared to the oboe, the bassoon is much larger and measures around seven feet of tubing bent in an uneven U-shape. On the shorter side about halfway up the instrument, the hooked mouthpiece is placed. On the other hand, the oboe has the mouthpiece placed at the top. It is a single, straight instrument that flares out in the shape of a bell at the bottom.
The oboe has the ability to play high notes, while the bassoon can play in a lower register.
Materials used to make oboes are grenadilla wood or African Blackwood, while bassoons are made mostly from maple, but there are also other types of materials.
There is a specific keying system for each instrument. The oboe has 45 complex pieces of keywork, while the bassoon has fewer keys.
Due to their size, each of these instruments will be held in a different way. Because of its large size, the bassoon is often held with a neck strap on the side and the oboe is placed in front of the mouth.
How can I save money?
You might find a high-quality bassoon at a good price on Craigslist or eBay.
Take into consideration renting a bassoon if you want to see whether or not you would enjoy playing this instrument. Though, it might be difficult to find a shop wherefrom to rent a bassoon as it doesn’t make sense for the majority of the shops.
As a student, you can use your financial aid to buy a bassoon.
You can also take advantage of the bassoon offered by your school as the costs for a quality instrument are high.
Search online for discounts and coupons codes offered often by online retailers.