Articulation on the bassoon:
Articulation on the contra:
Articulations in context:
Tonguing on the contra:



legato

Legato

Played without tonguing
Downward slurs:
Bassoon
Low register
High register
Contra
Low register
High register

nonlegato

Non Legato

Each individual note is tongued and separated.
Contra
Low register
High register

staccato

Staccato

Short and separated notes (all tongued).
Bassoon
Low register
High register
Contra
Low register
High register

wedge

Staccatissimo

Very short tongued notes. Sometimes notated as staccato notes with the word staccatissimo (or staccatiss.) written above.
Bassoon
Low register
High register
Contra
Low register
High register



legato staccato

Combinations

Notes with both dots and slurs, or lines and slurs, vary in interpretation, but are somewhere between legato and non legato. As the video clips reveal, interpretations of these markings vary from player to player!

Bassoon
Low register
High register
Contra
Low register
High register

tenuto

"Tenuto"

Tenuto (so-called) is really a variation on non legato and is sometimes seen with both lines and dots implying shorter note durations. Means either a stress or sustain, depending on context.

Tenuto:
Bassoon
Low register
High register
Contra
Low register
High register

double and triple tonguing

Double, Triple Tonguing & Sforzando

Double/triple tonguing
Partial tonguing in groups of two or three (e.g. on syllables ta-ka, or ta-ka-ka) to give a very rapid articulation.
Double and triple tonguing:

Sforzando
Although accents and sforzandi are standard for most instruments, on a double reed instrument they produce a particular timbre. Notate with sfz above the note, or sffz for extreme sforzandi.

sffzp:
Low
High

fluttertonguing

Fluttertonguing

A rolled 'r' tonguing. Not all players can do fluttertonguing. Those that cannot have to 'fake' with a throat flutter that sounds less effective.

Fluttertonguing (bassoon):
Fluttertonguing (contra):
Bassoon
Low register
High register
Contra
Low register
High register

The Orchestra: A User's Manual is a free resource and will remain so. It still receives between 8,000 and 16,000 unique visits per month from all over the world. See the testimonials. Thanks to all the donations, I have been able to create this responsive re-design. But the movies and sound clips recorded in 2004 do show their age. I would really like to re-record everything and add many more techniques, especially for solo and ensemble writing. I estimate this will cost around £30,000. If you know a source of such funds, please contact me: a.hugill [at] bathspa.ac.uk