Topic: Baroque bassoon method


I'm a modern bassoonist trying to learn baroque bassoon and I'm wondering if anyone knows about a modern method book or guide for how to learn baroque bassoon. I know about the Ozi and the Fröhlich books, but I'm wondering if there's anything recent.



Re: Baroque bassoon method

When I started playing baroque bassoon two years ago (a Wolf Scherer model), my primary concern was finding the right fingerings that worked with my reeds. With almost any note on the baroque bassoon, there are issues concerning pitch, stability and response, so practically every note is a compromise in one way or another.

I went through Wolf's fingering chart and determined that 20-30% of the fingerings didn't work for me. I eventually found others that did--only then could I begin to address technique and exercises.

After that, my approach was to go through Weissenborn, working my way up to the sections in four sharps or flats. There isn't much Baroque music in keys beyond four sharps or flats, so this seemed like a good stopping point.

It's important to remember that playing any period instrument involves more than just carrying your modern technique over to the older instrument. There are considerations such as strong-and-weak, differentiated articulation, unequal temperament, and the whole concept of 'rhetorical playing'. Listening to the great baroque players on CD is one way to gain an understanding of all this, but an even better way is to find a suitable coach or teacher.

Christopher Brodersen
Maker of Historical Keyboard Instruments
Reviewer/contributor - Fanfare Magazine
Amateur bassoonist, baroque oboist, baroque bassoonist