Contrabassoon, double bassoon
The contrabassoon, also known as the double bassoon, is the contrabass instrument in the woodwind section and, together with the contrabass tuba, the deepest instrument in the orchestra.
Its deep and dark timbre has provided the foundation in orchestral works scored for large orchestras since the first half of the 19th century. It was not until the 20th century that it was entrusted with solo tasks, and then only rarely. Smaller orchestras feature two or three bassoons, the third of which can switch to a contrabassoon if required. Larger orchestras use three bassoons and a contrabassoon, and here too the third bassoonist can switch to contrabassoon if necessary.
Like the oboes and the bassoon the contrabassoon is a double-reed instrument, because the mouthpiece has two reeds that lie very close together.
Aerophone, double-reed instrument, woodwind instrument
Maple (wood body), metal (bocal, connections), brass (bell)
Double reed: two reeds lying close together
Length approx. 550 cm, double U form, conical
Approx. 135 cm
Approx. 21 keys (Heckel bassoon)
No taper (C bell) or flaring (A bell)
For resting the instrument on the floor