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The bassoon is a double-reed instrument that is most commonly observed as a part of the woodwind section of orchestras. Bassoons were derived from the shawm, an double-reed instrument used in the Middle Ages that had a cylindrical tube and sound holes. Experimentation to obtain lower bass tones with instruments based on the shawm resulted in the instruments becoming extremely long and difficult to play. This problem was solved in the 16th century when the instrument was folded and curved.

The first instrument to be called a bassoon appeared in the 17th century. Continued efforts to improve the instrument continued until the 19th century. In 1831, German music teacher and composer Cael Almenrader, who had experimented with bassoon designs while working at an instrument factory, formed... Read more

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