3D Fagottini

A multi-method approach to reconstructing two original eighteenth-century fagottini with 3D-CT modelling

01.02.2020 – 31.07.2020

The first systematic study on small-sized bassoons “Fagottini and tenoroons – small, forgotten giants” revealed a significantly large number of surviving small-sized bassoons in instrument museums and collections.

In general, it is not permissible to play original wind instruments in museums and collections, and copies of small-size historical bassoons are not readily available. Reconstructions are therefore mandatory before any empirical, practical research can be undertaken. This project, an innovative multi-method approach to researching woodwind instrument reconstructions, used modern 3D-printing technology to print trial models of two eighteenth-century fagottini, preserved in their original states and in playable condition. Both instruments were scanned according to protocol established by MUSICES in 2018.

Original keywork was also scanned and printed in brass. Bocal designs were based on measurements from existing historical bocals and reconstructed. As no original double reeds exist, these were designed and constructed.

The 3D-printed models were evaluated using an empirical research approach, systemically measuring defined parameters such as pitch, intonation, tone quality, ease of handling and response. Specific differences between models derived from the 3D-CT scans and calculated round bores were noted and compared. For more information, visit our project website:

This study provided the foundation for future reconstructions of historical small-size bassoons, and is currently being pursued in the three-year SNF study “Out of the bass register” covering a comprehensive scope of organological and musicological research.