Topic: Bassoon: High A Bridge - What About High B/C Bridge?

Dear all,

I know quite a few people have had the high A bridge installed on their bassoons.  Has anyone had a high B/C bridge installed?  If it is undesirable to leave the whisper vent open while holding down the high A key for the high A and Bb, wouldn't it be the same for high B and C?

Sincerely,
Wai Kit Leung
Hong Kong

oboe (French, Viennese, baroque), bassoon (German, French, baroque), shawm, dulcian

Share

Re: Bassoon: High A Bridge - What About High B/C Bridge?

It would be easy enough to try this by playing B & C with the whisper key lock on.

Regarding the A bridge I have never found it makes much difference - again it is easy enough to do a comparison with the vent closed & then rotating the crook so that it is open. Maybe I'm not a sensitive enough player.

Ian

Re: Bassoon: High A Bridge - What About High B/C Bridge?

I find a marked improvement in the response and resonance of the A and Bb when the whisper key is depressed. It's very noticeable. Never really thought about it for high B or C, but I have seen one instrument with this mechanism before.

http://www.robertronnes.com/mybassoons/ … t.back.jpg

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds

Re: Bassoon: High A Bridge - What About High B/C Bridge?

I find it advantageous to have the whisper key closed for the high B; it brings the pitch down a bit. That's especially useful for the high B in Nutcracker.

I don't know about the high C, or if a bridge would interfere with higher notes.

Heckel does offer a high C bridge as an option.

Re the high A bridge, I find it very useful, not only for the high A and Bb, but for the mid-range A when using the flick key.

Share

Re: Bassoon: High A Bridge - What About High B/C Bridge?

I have tried a 12k Heckel with a high B/C bridge, and I agree with Trent that it helps with the resonance. I have always wondered as well why we have the high A bridge, but not the high B/C bridge.

Last edited by SSeguin (2015-09-28 15:39:06)

Share

Re: Bassoon: High A Bridge - What About High B/C Bridge?

Wai Kit, yes, it's excellent on my horn for high B and with the acoustics on my horn, not very good for c and up. This is a case where a French whisper with a thin bridge between the low Eb and the ring key would be perfect. I am the only member of the section without a French whisper and the other players never use it, I would love it. I am surprised that players that use the vents as "speaker" keys would not routinely install a French whisper to help the left thumb technique. I, at one point, removed my A bridge because of the feel of the A, but now it's back on. If I had the French whisper with a bridge,  I would be able to choose when to play it open or closed for a musical passage.

Principal bassoonist, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, A Coruña, Spain. Bassoonist, bassoon dad, bassoon husband, bassoon uncle, bassoon brother and bassoon son.

Re: Bassoon: High A Bridge - What About High B/C Bridge?

When I studied with Arthur Weisberg many years ago, he was at that time playing on a bassoon with a whisper-link from the high-A-key. I saw on the instrument evidence of a removed whipser-link for the high-C-key and asked him about it. He said that he had had both installed and found that the link from the high-A-key was a good idea, but that the one from the high-C-key did not work. I pressed him and he only elaborated that it helped some notes but interfered with others.

Since then, I have experimented with a temporary link from the high-C-key. Without question, the link improves the pitch, tonecolor, and response of high B especially in soft dynamics. However, it greatly interferes with high C and high C# where one uses both the C and D octave keys. As well, the three "flick" notes using the high-C-key are not as good, though not as terrible as the high C.

I have an extra whisper-key for the R-thumb on my bassoon and pretty routinely use it when playing high B. (R-thumb presses both the whisper-key and the Bb-key.) Of course I have to forego the R-thumb whisper-key in certain situations like going quickly between high C and B.

I have been working on a mechanical solution so that the whisper-key is automatically closed when playing high B, but not when playing high C, C#, nor the flick notes below. Once Frank Marcus installs it for me (and I determine that it works properly!) I will post a photograph and detailed drawings.

Michael Sweeney.

Prin. Bsn., Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Re: Bassoon: High A Bridge - What About High B/C Bridge?

I owned a 5K Heckel that has both the A-Whisper and C-Whisper key connections.  It had the French long joint and bell so the system does exist.  I have a little finger whisper key on my bassoon so whenever I need to vent using the C key I depress the whisper key with this key.

Bob Williams

Share

Re: Bassoon: High A Bridge - What About High B/C Bridge?

Yeah Bob, I wish I had that whisper key. Michael, that sounds cool, put up a pic when it's done.

Principal bassoonist, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, A Coruña, Spain. Bassoonist, bassoon dad, bassoon husband, bassoon uncle, bassoon brother and bassoon son.

Re: Bassoon: High A Bridge - What About High B/C Bridge?

marydoob wrote:

Yeah Bob, I wish I had that whisper key. Michael, that sounds cool, put up a pic when it's done.

My instrument came equipped with a left pinky whisper key. I use it on a regular basis. It is very handy.

It also came equipped with a whisper key for the right thumb, above the Bb spatula. I rarely use it, but it is sometimes handy, especially for the high B.

Share