This site provides structural data on 288 original historical bassoons from c.1700 to c.1850 of 124 makers; and 22 modern copies. This includes the following: number of keys, segment lengths, dimensions and position of tone holes, bore profile, and photos of the instruments, including the maker’s stamp. Historical bassoons are from France, Germany, Belgium, Russia, Italy, England, and the United States by important makers such as Denner, Eichentopf, Prudent, Grenser, Poerschmann, and Savary, to name a few. The bassoons are found in private collections and musical instrument museum collections in Europe and the USA.
As of 15 November 2023, after a successful visit to the Edinburgh University Collection, the Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali, Rome, and the Peebles Collection in North Carolina. I have posted the data for 310 individual bassoons in the database and a separate page for each maker. It was necessary to make a page for each of the 124 historical bassoon makers in order to have Google, Bing, and other search engines better index the site. Refer to the “List of Historical Bassoons in the Hichwa-Rachor Database” to see the entire list of bassoons. Even though all the bassoons currently in the database are posted, the work on the website is not by any means finished.
Regarding the detailed bibliography list of sources used to obtain information on the bassoons on the website, in the past, this list was presented on each General Information sheet for each bassoon. This was found to be a time-consuming method since it required much moving of documents within WordPress. I am moving to present a list of bibliographical sources on the General Information sheet for each bassoon that mostly applies to that bassoon. Bibliographical sources that refer to the maker and his bassoons will, in the future, be found on the page with only the bassoons of that maker.
I recently posted a version of my “User Guide to the Database of Historical Bassoons“. This document explains how to use the general information and data spreadsheets. Terms such as “Two-piece saddle on F key flap and touch” or “Bell Flare” are discussed. In order to know precisely what data is presented, it is necessary to read the entire guide.
Keep in mind that in the titles of the bassoons, an “O” signifies an original bassoon, and a “C” indicates a modern copy of a historical bassoon. In addition, the number following directly after the makers’ name refers to the order in which a particular bassoon of the same maker was entered into the database. For example, “Porthaux8-O-BrusMIM3118” means this bassoon was the eighth bassoon by the maker Dominique Porthaux entered into the database.
Take a look at the “Photo Gallery of Instrument Makers, Researchers, Players, and Instruments” and the “Photo Gallery Dedicated to William Waterhouse.” All these photos are from my personal photo collection and cannot be seen anywhere else.
Speaking of photos, I must give a disclaimer as regards the photos of the bassoons; they are not by any means of professional quality. They were taken in all conditions, including poor lighting, and in all cases quickly. One is always under time constraints when conducting research at either a museum or a private collection. There is much to be done, and the taking of photos is only one item that needs to be accomplished.