One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An alto clarinet in F.
- ‘The first movement was plainly sketched, in G major, for basset horn.’
- ‘When it came to the clarinet family, one must admit that the basset horn does sound a trifle canine, but as with flutes and saxophones, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone or bass always flowed on in logical order.’
- ‘The concert opens with a special arrangement of the Magic Flute overture and the programme includes the well known Serenade for 13 Wind Instruments in the original version using a basset horn.’
- ‘One of his concertos is for solo basset horn - that instrument is a close relative of the clarinet.’
- ‘Because Mozart wrote for the basset horn in some 20 works, makers kept it available, and it was also used by Beethoven, Spohr, Mendelssohn, and Richard Strauss.’
Mid 19th century: from German, translation of French cor de bassette, from Italian corno di bassetto, from corno ‘horn’ + di ‘of’ + bassetto (diminutive of basso ‘low’, from Latin bassus ‘short’).
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