Definition of bassoon in English:



  • A bass woodwind instrument of the oboe family, with a doubled-back tube over four feet long, played with a double reed.

    • ‘The group's unique combination of oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, piano and soprano allows them to perform a diverse repertoire in a wide range of musical genres.’
    • ‘Flutes, saxophones, clarinets, trumpets and bassoons share the spotlight and take frequent solos that, like the vocals, often ramble aimlessly.’
    • ‘Playing an instrument such as the oboe or bassoon as I do, one's initial focus at university or conservatoire was inevitably the brace of chairs available in the Western symphony orchestra.’
    • ‘Even more surprising are the number of standard orchestral instruments that are currently under threat - double bass, viola, horn, oboe, bassoon, tuba and trombone.’
    • ‘On this recording, there are nine violins, three violas, three cellos, a double bass, one flute, three oboes, one bassoon, three trumpets, a set of timpani, and a harpsichord.’
    • ‘The instrumental ensemble is comprised of flute, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two French horns, and a double-bass.’
    • ‘Two string quartets are utilized, as are a pair of French horns, piccolo, bassoon, bassett horn, oboe and instruments usually associated with jazz.’
    • ‘There was a rich, cohesive texture in the second movement's expansive themes, following the dialogues between paired oboe and bassoons, conveyed with expressive conviction, notably their final cadenza in duet.’
    • ‘Candidates in the categories of piano, oboe and bassoon must include a recording of their own playing on either a cassette tape or DAT cassette.’
    • ‘There are no cellos, a disproportionately large number of double-basses, and big brass and wind sections but no oboes and bassoons.’
    • ‘The sound is excellent for its age and the particular timbre of oboes, clarinets and bassoons accompanied by the battery of kettledrums has to be heard to be believed!’
    • ‘It is a charming piece, and performers and concert-planners should note that it is helpfully and economically scored for an orchestra consisting of just two oboes, two bassoons and strings.’
    • ‘It consists of a bass line only, which is to be played on instruments such as the cello, viola de gamba, double-bass or bassoon.’
    • ‘To qualify they must be taking a full-time honours degree course in music studies and jazz studies playing trombone, tuba, bassoon, french horn, oboe, double bass or piano.’
    • ‘In those days none of the schools had any oboes or bassoons, but some of the high schools did own some old saxophones, clarinets and some brass instruments.’
    • ‘Other unique curiosities are the 3 Sonatas that the composer wrote for each of the main woodwind instruments; oboe, bassoon and clarinet, although those for cor anglais and flute never saw the light of day.’
    • ‘The performers here, being very good baroque musicians indeed, have deployed a variety of continuo combinations: harpsichord or lute with violone, gamba, double bass or bassoon.’
    • ‘Developed from the dulcian, the bassoon has never acquired a fashionable status among woodwind instruments.’
    • ‘Also, sometimes when I'm listening, I get confused between clarinets and bassoons, and between French horns and trombones, so it's good to see the live performance.’
    • ‘This music, scored for bright violins rather than violes, with oboes, bassoons, and cornets a bouquin, had qualities comparable with those of the vocal chansons, preserving plasticity of movement and enhancing clarity of texture.’


Early 18th century: from French basson, from Italian bassone, from basso ‘low’, from Latin bassus ‘short, low’.