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4098.  Sun Jan 11, 2004 6:41 am Reply with quote

We owe this initial bassoon information to Mr Robert Ely, a music teacher and new friend of QI, who has just joined us on the Outer Darkness talkboard, but whom I hope to initiate here in the Inner Sanctum shortly.

Common sense would suggest that Bassoons is a very small subject with little of interest to recommend it.

QI Theory says otherwise.

We shall see.

4099.  Sun Jan 11, 2004 6:49 am Reply with quote

BASSOON (Fr. basson; Ger. Fagott; Ital. fagotto), is not, as popularly thought, a bass Oon – there being no tenor, alto or soprano Oon for it to derive from.

It is known more commonly on the continent as the fagott.

A curious acoustic phenomenon bears upon the construction of the fagott, and the thorny issue of the readjusted position of the A hole, stopped by the third finger of the right hand, the A hole is covered by an open key to be closed by the same finger. The A hole also communicates with the narrower bore in the butt joint.

s: ELY

4135.  Sun Jan 11, 2004 2:34 pm Reply with quote

<eyes water>

4142.  Sun Jan 11, 2004 5:14 pm Reply with quote

"The bassoon is one of my favorite instruments. It has the medieval aroma, like the days when everything used to sound like that. Some people crave baseball . . . I find this unfathomable, but I can easily understand why a person could get excited about playing the bassoon."

Frank Zappa, quoted at

4143.  Sun Jan 11, 2004 5:17 pm Reply with quote

Some bassoon and oboe jokes, quoted at [url]http://anxiety-

Why is a bassoon better than an oboe?
The bassoon burns longer.

What is a burning oboe good for?
Setting a bassoon on fire.

What is the definition of a half step?
Two oboes playing in unison.

What is the definition of a major second?
Two baroque oboes playing in unison.

How do you get an oboist to play A flat?
Take the batteries out of his electric tuner.

Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get away from the bassoon recital.

4164.  Sun Jan 11, 2004 7:18 pm Reply with quote

There is a Costa Rican bird which sings the first four notes of Mozart’s bassoon concerto.

s: AAS Luis Baptista

4165.  Sun Jan 11, 2004 7:19 pm Reply with quote

The Austrian composer Herbert Willi (b 1946) plays the Fagott.


4166.  Sun Jan 11, 2004 7:22 pm Reply with quote

Q. What’s the difference between a bassoon and a trampoline?
A. You take off your shoes when you jump on a trampoline.

4168.  Sun Jan 11, 2004 7:28 pm Reply with quote

Why is a bassoon better than an oboe?
The bassoon burns longer.

LOL! One wonders if the sobriquet "fagotto" ("bundle of firewood") was given it by the renaissance equivalent of parents of recorder-pupils. One name for the bassoon was the Dulcian (from Latin meaning "soft and sweet"). The English version was called the Curtal, which probably meant something quite different.

I had a great post about the gut-rupturingly deep contrabassoon lined up, and my 'puter just wiped it. Fucking contraption.

Some remembered highlights, which I will resource later: A bassoon, uncurled, would be 8ft 3ins long. It weighs about 3.5kg, depending on what it's made of (plastic bassoons are quite common nowadays). Due to the build-up of condensation and saliva in their great length, the most common cause of bassoon-obsolescence is premature rotting.

Anyway, the funny-looking metal thing shaped like a question-mark that a bassoon reed goes into is called a bocal.


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