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Building a Subcontrabassoon

A bassoon is a woodwind instrument that plays in the lower range. A contrabassoon plays even lower notes. A subcontrabassoon… well, it doesn't exist. But professional contrabassoonist Richard Bobo wants to change that, by building the first subcontrabassoon. Bobo explains more about the project in this interview. The finished instrument will be 6'4" tall and weigh 35 pounds. However, that is substantially smaller than a pipe organ, which is the only other instrument that currently plays the lowest notes.

Despite its larger size, the ergonomics of the subcontrabassoon have been designed to be as similar to the contrabassoon as possible. The bocal angle, bocal height, bocal projection, end pin adjustment, and vertical hand playing positions will all be identical to a standard contrabassoon. However, unlike the contrabassoon and bassoon, the subcontrabassoon’s left-hand keywork will be contained on a single joint and a second handrest will therefore be provided for comfort.

In short, if you can play the contrabassoon, you will be able to play the subcontrabassoon.

You can follow Bobo's design and building progress at Facebook. -via Metafilter


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