Bernd Moosmann constructs a bassoon suitable for children by adapting the keywork to this age group.
One example of his dedication is the Model 96, specially developed in 1996 as a ‘bassoon for small hands’.
The task was clear-cut. Sine the bassoon is relatively large and difficult for children to handle, it used to be the case that only older pupils could start taking bassoon lessons.
The left hand has to be able to grasp the bassoon around the bass joint on to the wing joint. The index, middle and ring fingers have to cover the holes, while the thumb has to be able to reach the whisper key, the C# key and the A and C vent keys. Just impossible for small hands! Bernd Moosmann provided the solution to the problem.
He extended the lengths of the whisper key, C# key, A and C vent keys by 14 mm. He introduced a plateau key for the ring finger hole of the left hand and moved the C# and Eb keys for the left hand little finger up the instrument by 7 mm, so that the left hand didn’t have to stretch as far. He decided not to fit an Ab key for the right hand thumb. He also did away with the alternative Bb key for the right hand, meaning that the G key could be moved 7 mm further up the instrument. This meant that the keys for the right little finger (F, Ab and F#) could also move 7 mm up the instrument, avoiding an excessive stretch for the right hand as well. It is not absolutely essential, with small hands, to have a handrest for the right hand when starting to learn to play the bassoon, but he fitted the model 96 with a small handrest anyway.
The instrument’s keywork is nickel plated. Silver plating is available at a higher price. The Model 96 bassoon has hard rubber lined tone holes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd finger holes and C# hole on the wing joint, 1st and 2nd finger holes with the G ring on the butt joint, and these can be extended into the bore for an extra sum (to help keep the fingers dry).
One clear acoustic advantage of Bernd Moosmann’s Model 96 over the quart and quint bassoons available elsewhere on the market is the instrument’s full bassoon tone. It’s the same size as a regular bassoon and therefore makes the same sound as a regular bassoon!
And it’s always possible to swap over the extended keywork for standard bassoon keys. The extended keys are shortened and the plateau key for the left hand ring finger can be replaced by the conventional ring arrangement. It’s also possible to fit, for instance, a high d key or a whisper key lock, or even an Ab key for the right hand thumb.
Thanks to the sophisticated concept of Bernd Mossmann as an instrument manufacturer, the Model 96 can continue to be played by the bassoonist for many years, whereas young artists may no longer be able to use quart and quint bassoons after two or three years, once they’ve grown out of their fagottino stage.
There has been a significant demand for this Model 96, on every continent, in the 15 years since Moosmann first produced it in 1996.
Vertaling: Hans Hovius
Contact: Hoofddealer FagotAtelier Maarten Vonk.
Telefon: 0 71 51 / 90 56 33
Fax: 0 71 51 / 90 56 50