Small-sized-bassoons are classified as “fagottino”—instruments sounding one octave higher than the full-sized bassoon and “tenoroons”—transposing instruments that are generally in either G or F.
The Instrument catalogue – fagottino/tenoroon aims to collect as many references as possible about instruments built between 1700 and 1914, the “Golden Age” of fagottino and tenoroon. Our goal is to evaluate how many original historical instruments currently exist, where they are now located, and other data, such as the place and date of manufacture.
The sources for the catalogue are being collected and constantly updated after trips to museums, private collections, and libraries where historical references, such as makers’ inventories catalogues and instruments lists, can be found. The catalogue includes the following information: our own inventory number (FT#), name of the instrument maker, the city where the workshop was located, and approximate date of manufacture, as well as current location and bibliographic sources.
Besides this basic information, the fagottino and tenoroon research team are collecting a large amount of data about specific instruments, including photos, internal/external measurements, and bore measurements, which are accessible in individual datasets at the data repository Zenodo. The aim of this data collection is to enable detailed comparison of instruments by considering differences in building style and noting regional and historical differences in bassoon-building. Furthermore, the data collected can be used to compare small-sized and full-size bassoons, answering the key question: Is a small-sized bassoon just a smaller version of the full-sized, or does it have its own characteristics as an instrument?
Datasets can be previewed online or downloaded. (Tip: The “Basic Info Sheet” is a good place to start.) To access datasets of an instrument, please note the FT# and click on the corresponding link under “Instrument measurement datasets-links-to-Zenodo” which will open the specific location on the respository. Alternatively, you may browse the list of datasets on Zenodo: (https://zenodo.org/search?page=1&size=20&q=fagottino).
Videos (endoscopic and others) may be downloaded from the datasets on Zenodo, or viewed separately at Vimeo. See also “Other videos” on this site, which depict casual, unedited first-encouters with instruments we could try.
Data for this study is being collected using the methods commonly used by most period wind instrument makers today and described by Jan Bouterse in Dutch woodwind instruments and their makers, (Utrecht: Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis, 2005). For some particular details, the collection data method has been revised and adapted to measuring small-sized bassoons, as discussed in an internal workshop held in Basel on November 7th, 2017.
Besides the small-sized bassoon catalogue, we are also creating a catalogue of miscellaneous instruments that at some point in time have been mistakenly referred to as ‘small-sized bassoons’ in catalogues, articles, and other referenced sources. Furthermore, we have included a few noteworthy early-twentieth-century instruments, even if they extend beyond our initial time scope. The aim of this catalogue is to present a few relevant examples of instruments that cannot be considered fagottini or tenoroons, together with some explanatory notes about their characteristics.