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Instrument and Voice Guides


History and Construction

Jansen, Will. The Bassoon: Its History, Construction, Makers, Players, and Music. Buren, The Netherlands: Frits Knuf, 1978.


Addresses the following topics: technical and acoustical development from beginning to modern day, bassoon makers (most notable Heckel), maintenance and repair, contrabassoon, biographies of bassoon players, bassoon and contrabassoon as depicted in the pictorial arts and literature.


Joppig, Gunther. The Oboe and the Bassoon. Translated from the German by Alfred Clayton. Portland, Ore.: Amadeus Press, 1988.


Discusses the early history of the oboe and bassoon up to the modern instruments. Topics include mechanization, materials, tuning, instrumental capabilities, different varieties of oboes and bassoons, and reed-making.


Langwill, Lyndesay Graham. The Bassoon and Contrabassoon. New York: W. W. Norton, 1965.


Topics include: precursors of the bassoon, developments after 1750, use of the bassoon as a solo and ensemble instrument throughout the centuries, higher-pitched bassoons, contrabassoons, acoustics, reeds, technique, capabilities, noted players from past and present, and a repertoire list.




Popkin, Mark. Bassoon Reed Making, rev. ed. Northfield, Ill.: Instrumentalist Co., 1987.


Covers the following topics: preparation of cane, materials and equipment, shaping, wiring, scraping, finishing the reed, knife sharpening.


Weait, Christopher. Bassoon Reed-Making: A Basic Technique. New York: McGinnis and Marx, 1970.


Discusses equipment and tools, construction, preparation and soaking of the cane, profiling, shaping, wiring, scraping, making adjustments, knife sharpening.


Technique and Performance Practice


Camden, Archie. Bassoon Technique. New York: Oxford University Press, 1962.


Topics include: embouchure, tonguing, tone production, fingering techniques, alternate fingerings, instrument care, reeds and their care.


Cooper, Lewis Hugh and Howard Toplansky. Essentials of Bassoon Technique. Union, N.J.: 1968.


An extensive encyclopedic presentation of basic and advanced fingerings and trills with explanation of their usage.


Biographical Sources


Hodges, Woodrow Joe. "A Biographical Dictionary of Bassoonists born Before 1825." Ph.D. thesis, University of Iowa, 1980.

ML399.H68 B5

Covers bassoonists born before 1825 or who flourished in the 1830's or early 1840's. Entries on over 800 bassoonists including extensive articles on famous virtuosi and brief statements about obscure musicians. Also includes a brief history up to 1825 of the mechanical development and growing use of the bassoon as a solo and ensemble instrument.



Fletcher, Kristine Klopfenstein. The Paris Conservatoire and the Contest Solos for Bassoon. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988.

ML128.B26 F6 (Reference)

Contains an annotated bibliography of commissioned solos for bassoon from 1898-1984 and the bassoon solos required for the competition from 1795-1897. Covers the early history of the Conservatoire, discussing the directors, bassoon professors, and the development of the annual competitions.


Konigsbeck, Bodo. Bassoon Bibliography. Monteux, France: Musica Rara, 1994.

AEH9009 (Frontlog-Books)

Entries provide the composer, title, instrumentation, duration, publishers, and locations for methods, solo, chamber, and orchestral works from the seventeenth century to the present.


Wilkins, Wayne. The Index of Bassoon Music Including the Index of Baroque Trio Sonatas. Magnolia, Ark.: Music Register, 1976.

ML128.B25 W68 (Reference)

Entries provide the composer, title, instrumentation, editor, and publisher for methods, solo, and chamber works.




The Double Reed. East Lansing, Mich.: International Double Reed Society.

ML1.D73 (Journals, 1978-present)

Contains news and announcements, articles about performing, performers and teachers, technique, history, reed-making, and reviews of music, books, recordings, and performances. Previous to 1978 published as To the World's Bassoonists.


To the World's Bassoonists. East Lansing, Mich.: International Double Reed Society.

ML1.T364 (Journals, 1973-1977)

See previous citation. In 1978 merged with To the World's Oboists to form The Double Reed.