This welcome volume encompasses the entire history of the bassoon, from its origins five centuries ago to its place in twenty-first-century music. James Kopp draws on new archival research and many years' experience playing the instrument to provide an up-to-date and lively portrait of today's bassoon and its intriguing predecessors. He discusses the bassoon's makers, its players, its repertory, its myths, and its audiences, all in unprecedented detail. The bassoon was invented in Italy in response to the need for a bass-register double-reed woodwind suitable for processionals and marching. Composers were quick to exploit its agility and unique timbre. Later, during the reign of Louis XIV, the instrument underwent a major redesign, giving voice to its tenor register. In the early 1800s new scientific precepts propelled a wave of invention and design modifications. In the twentieth century, the multiplicity of competing bassoon designs narrowed to a German (or Heckel) type and a French type, the latter now nearly extinct. The author examines the acoustical consequences of these various redesigns. He also offers new coverage of the bassoon's social history, including its roles in the military and church and its global use during the European Colonial period. Separate historical chapters devoted to contrabassoons and smaller bassoons complete the volume [Publisher description]
This book is a valuable tool for anyone researching the bassoon or bassoon-related topics. It includes citations for nearly every book, article, dissertation, thesis, and video dealing with the bassoon. It is divided into different sections, allowing one to easily look up available information on a particular bassoon player, composer, information on bassoon reeds, or other aspects of the instrument. There is also an alphabetical section by author included along with the category listings. The set-up of the volume is similar to that of a telephone book, with headers at the top of each page, allowing one to readily browse through and find the needed information quickly.
"... an extraordinary book, monumental and challenging... Buy this book and immerse yourself in it. You will enter a new world." -American Musical Instrument Society Newsletter With the help of author James McKay, the late Louis Skinner, America's master bassoon reedmaker, documented his techniques for making specialized and general purpose reeds for the bassoon and the contrabassoon. In this work, step-by-step explanations of reedmaking techniques are complemented by photographs and drawings, making every procedure clear. Throughout, the emphasis is on giving practical advice, not just giving steps to follow but explaining why they are important.