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 What notes can the bassoon play without a whisper key?
Author: bassclefbabe 
Date:   2007-08-22 18:48

I was about to buy a beginners linton bassoon but in the description it said that it had no whisper key.

Doesn't that mean that it can only play one octave?

If not, how much can it play?

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 Re: What notes can the bassoon play without a whisper key?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2007-08-22 22:14

Do you mean it has never had one fitted and there's no whisper hole on the crook, or that the whisper key has been taken off and lost?

You should be able to play all the notes from bottom Bb right up to G in the treble clef, so you'll have a decent two and a half octave range which is perfectly adequate for a beginner instrument, though you can still get to the A and Bb above this without a whisper key.

Chris.

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 Re: What notes can the bassoon play without a whisper key?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2007-08-23 12:53

I think you're much better off going for a bassoon with a whisper key as well as the high A and C keys. The high D and a whisper lock aren't too important on a beginner or student instrument, though they're useful to have on intermediate and pro bassoons.

I just had a look at the Linton you mentioned and it's very basic, and there are ones listed on there that have more keywork for less money and will also last you much longer due to the higher keywork spec.

Chris.

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 Re: What notes can the bassoon play without a whisper key?
Author: ornithologist of the bands 
Date:   2008-04-23 16:55

the bassoon can play two whole octaves without a wisper key ([lowest octave is 1, highest is 4] 3 and 4) The lower notes like from low Bb to low F or G works too. That might be just my bassoon though.

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 Re: What notes can the bassoon play without a whisper key?
Author: BassoonWorks 
Date:   2008-08-10 04:45

Whisper keys were only added in the first decades of the 20th century. Consider that key pieces like the Rite of Spring, Scherezade, and all the Tchaikowsky symphonies were written for (and played on) pre-whisper key instruments and you will get a sense of the range.

I was playing a wooden, c, 1900, bassoon yesterday (before they started to line the "wet side" with hard rubber. It had no whisper key, but played easily from low Bb to high Eb. Did the Stravinsky and Rimsky-Korsokov solos without diffciculty.

Much of this requires more control of the embouchure (like an oboist or contrabasoonist jumping octaves). Stiff reeds also help with the upper register. Hope that helps!

[ Snipped - GBK ]

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 Re: What notes can the bassoon play without a whisper key?
Author: aero145 
Date:   2009-04-10 08:39

BassoonWorks wrote:

> Whisper keys were only added in the first decades of the 20th
> century. Consider that key pieces like the Rite of Spring,
> Scherezade, and all the Tchaikowsky symphonies were written for
> (and played on) pre-whisper key instruments and you will get a
> sense of the range.

The Rite of Spring was written for the French ”basson”, and I would guess the basson had a whisper key then. I’m not sure about this, but it wouldn’t surprise me though.

Apart from that, you’re correct, one doesn’t NEED a whisper key for the basson, though it’s far easier.

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 Re: What notes can the bassoon play without a whisper key?
Author: concertmaster3 
Date:   2009-05-07 23:57

I actually have an old conn whisper-key-less bassoon... (actually am borrowing one). but it has no key and no hole on the bocal. I tried a regular bocal and it wasn't that bad, as long as you don't need to go too low for too long.

I can play, for the better part, most of the full range (Low Bb to High C and D in treble clef...can't play E and F yet...UGH)
Granted..the middle register where you would open the whisper key (A2-D2) is hell sometimes, and I've learned flicking the hard way!

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