Topic: Bocal lengths

This sounds like such a stupid question, but here goes.

I understand the difference in pitch between various bocal lengths, but can this be quantified?  How much sharper is a 2 bocal than a 3? Or a 1 over a 2?  Is there a difference between manufacturers (yes I know that Fox bocals are one number larger than an equivalent Heckel)?

Bryan Cavitt
Bassoonist; Bassoon Dad


Re: Bocal lengths

My understanding is that bocal lengths should differ by 4 millemeters and, if room temperature is normal, that length difference will make a 2.5 cycles per second pitch difference.

Christopher Weait,
Principal bassoon, Toronto Symphony (1968 - 1985)
IDRS Honorary Member; Emeritus professor Ohio State University

Re: Bocal lengths

Keep in mind that the bore and metal type can have an effect on overall pitch as well. I remember a time we had a Moosmann bassoon on consignment at MMI. It had one of the Moosmann Interpret series bocals in a 1 and one of the Excellent series in a 2. The #2 bocal most definitely played higher overall in pitch than the #1, which played at a very low pitch for a #1 bocal anyway. They were flipped in terms of pitch level.

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