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Developed in the mid-17th century, the contrabassoon was initially used to play church music, and eventually moved into the British military bands.
Compared to the regular bassoon
When compared to their cousin, contrabasoons are generally larger, with a 70-75 mm in total length. Also, fingering techniques in contrabasoons are slightly different, particularly at the register change and in extreme high range.
Rather than being supported by a seat strap, a contrabassoon is supported by an endpin because of its considerable length.
Finally, a contrabasoon cannot be disassembled without a screwdriver. The instrument often has two parts: a bell and bocal.
Contrabasoons come in two kinds: one-piece and two-piece.
A one-piece contrabassoon is made from wood with a silver tube called a bocal extending from the top to the reed. This type is commonly used because of its sturdiness and easier maintenance. Some models also come with detachable bells.
Meanwhile, a two-piece contrabassoon has a detachable top and bottom area, as well as separate bells and bocals. It usually has a lower A extensions in addition to the Bo limit.
If you are thinking of buying a contrabassoon, look for one that has an excellent support. Choose a contrabasoon that comes with a sturdy endpin or floor peg to support it from the floor. Also, make sure that it can tilt from the endpin allowing for a more comfortable playing position. You can also look for a contrabassoon that has comes with a shoulder strap to reduce weight on the endpin.
Finally, make sure that you can easily reach the finger keys of your instrument. A contrabassoon's finger keys are usually spaced farther as compared to regular bassoon keys.