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 of 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, 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 marching. The author examines the acoustical consequences of various design changes to the instrument through later centuries. He also offers new coverage of the bassoon's social history, including its roles in the military and the church and its global use during the European Colonial period. Separate historical chapters devoted to contrabassoons and smaller bassoons complete the volume.
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