Bassoons are part of the Woodwind section of the orchestra. Here is a panshot along the bassoon: and the contra:

Meyrick plays one of the most famous bassoon solos: the opening of The Rite of Spring (1913) by Igor Stravinsky. This exploits the high register of the instrument:


The conical bore of the instrument:
The bore seen from the inside (and an explanation of the bird perched on Meyrick's bassoon!):
How sound is produced:
Crook lengths and distances:
French and German systems:
The registers of the bassoon:
The characters of the bassoon:


The construction of the contra:
The folds of the instrument:
The keyholes:
The history of the modern contrabassoon:
The reed:
Changing reeds:
The agility of the contra:

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]