Out of the Bass Register

Uncovering the Organology, Pedagogy, and Performance Practice of Small-Sized Bassoons from the 18th and 19th Centuries

01.05.2020 – 30.04.2023

Based on preliminary work by the research team, this application-oriented project is devoted to studies of the organology, repertoire, pedagogical use and practical performance aspects of small-scale bassoons from the 18th and 19th centuries.

More than 110 small-scale bassoons from the 18th and 19th centuries are known as "fagottini", "bassonetti", "tenoroon", fourth, fifth, sixth or octave bassoons in public and private collections worldwide. Due to imprecise designations in the sources and ignorance of the musical context, many questions regarding the characteristics, function, repertoire and musical practice of these instruments have remained unanswered to date.

The aim of the research project is to conduct an in-depth organological and musical investigation of these small-scale bassoons. A detailed catalogue of existing instruments and musical sources will be expanded. As case studies, four selected historical models will first be replicated and compared using innovative 3D-CT and 3D-printing techniques and traditional construction methods. The evaluation of all data serves to give the instruments a clearer profile with regard to their playability and musical context. A special feature of the methodology is the inclusion of empirical results by professional players who are part of the research team.

For more information, visit our project-website