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About the IDRS

The International Double Reed Society (IDRS) was established in December 1971 as a world-wide organization of double reed (oboe and bassoon family) players, instrument manufacturers, and enthusiasts. The society has over 3,000 members from around the world. Within the United States, all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are represented.

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Receive our quarterly print journal, The Double Reed

Membership rates at the annual IDRS conference

Opportunities to compete in the annual Gillet-Fox and Young Artist competitions

Access to IDRS group insurance policy rates through Clarion Musical Instrument Insurance

Explore The Double Reed

Playing Quietly on the German-System Bassoon

Terry B. Ewell | Towson, Maryland

Performing quietly in an ensemble is challenging for all double reed instruments. Unlike the single reeds that will vibrate well with less air flow, the double reeds may stop without warning for the performer . Air flow is critical for the musician to keep the double reed vibrating. The challenge, however, is that with more air moving through the reed the note becomes louder. Thus, the double reed musician walks along a precipice where too little air will bring the note over the edge (and stop) or too much air will make the note much too loud . The challenge is felt most acutely in the low register on the bassoon. This register is naturally the most resonant on the instrument, making the challenge of performing quietly even more difficult. Regrettably there is no single solution to this challenge. However, using multiple approaches the performer can master this skill.

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A Retrospective in Pictures

Photos by Eduardo Nogueroles