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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Developed from the dulcian, the bassoon has never acquired a fashionable status among woodwind instruments.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There are no cellos, a disproportionately large number of double-basses, and big brass and wind sections but no oboes and bassoons.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Two string quartets are utilized, as are a pair of French horns, piccolo, bassoon, bassett horn, oboe and instruments usually associated with jazz.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The instrumental ensemble is comprised of flute, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two French horns, and a double-bass.’
    • ‘Even more surprising are the number of standard orchestral instruments that are currently under threat - double bass, viola, horn, oboe, bassoon, tuba and trombone.’
    • ‘Flutes, saxophones, clarinets, trumpets and bassoons share the spotlight and take frequent solos that, like the vocals, often ramble aimlessly.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘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!’


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