Bassoon, dark brown wood, brass mounts. Four brass keys, flat, round or spatulate, mounted in saddles. Slightly raised platform for long joint keys. Length overall is 122.3 cm. Length of wing and butt is 90.0 cm. Bell of reddish brown wood and not original. Crook not original (short and narrow). Wing cracked at left third finger-hole. Long joint lower tenon replaced with brass retaining ring. Some bleaching of wood. Stamped on butt: Caleb Gedney London 1765.

Bassoon making thrived in England in the 18th century. Bassoons were used in orchestras and military bands. Further demand was created by the popularity of bassoons in churches to accompany singing. Some parishes could boast a bassoon section of 9 players. English bassoon sound has been described as being firm, compact and cello-like. It blended well with instruments and voices but also stood out in solos. Handel recognised these qualities and featured the bassoon frequently in his oratorios.

Collection Information

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