from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A low-pitched woodwind instrument with a double reed, having a long wooden body attached to a U-shaped lateral tube that leads to the mouthpiece. The range of this instrument is typically two octaves lower than that of the oboe.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A musical instrument of the oboe class, having a double reed, a long, curved metallic mouthpiece, and a doubled wooden tube or body.
  • noun A reed-pipe stop in an organ, having a quality of tone resembling that of the bassoon.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Mus.) A wind instrument of the double reed kind, furnished with holes, which are stopped by the fingers, and by keys, as in flutes. It forms the natural bass to the oboe, clarinet, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A musical instrument in the woodwind family, having a double reed and, playing in the tenor and bass ranges.
  • verb To play the bassoon.
  • verb To make a bassoon-like sound.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a double-reed instrument; the tenor of the oboe family


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French basson, from Italian bassone, augmentative of basso, bass; see basso.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French basson, from Italian bassone, from basso ("bass") + augmentative suffix -one.


  • During the rehearsal he suddenly stopped the orchestra and cried out: "F. sharp, F. sharp in the second bassoon is wrong", only to be answered by the first basson player, "Beg pardon, Sir, the second bassoon is absent today."

    Good Music Made Popular

  • The Germans called this sound schwachsinnige Musik, but the vice-admiral's name for it-"bassoon"-was the one that stuck.

    The New Yorker

  • Someone should also gently mention to Tilson-Thomas that the crowd that shows up for Takemitsu probably doesn't need the grownup version of the 'This instrument is called the bassoon! lecture.

    Stravinsky and Takemitsu at the Symphony

  • The bassoon is the legitimate bass to the oboe and to the wood wind in general.

    Scientific American Supplement No. 819, September 12, 1891

  • The mistake about the bassoon is a small one, and is, I suppose, borrowed from Coleridge, but it is characteristic.

    The Art of Letters

  • Now it happened that a bassoon was the instrument nearest the box in which Aurora sat, and it was natural therefore that the bassoon attracted more of

    The Holy Cross and Other Tales

  • The oboe is one of two commonly found double reed woodwinds (the bassoon is the other), a family of musical instruments that produces sound by channeling vibrations made by blowing on two thin pieces of material.


  • The bassoon was my instrument in high school, and as a child I heard the voice of Harold Ramis in a crowded lecture hall.


  • Next came a double file of priests in their surplices, with a missal in one hand and a lighted wax taper in the other, chanting the funeral dirge at intervals -- now pausing, and then again taking up the mournful burden of their lamentation, accompanied by others, who played upon a rude kind of bassoon, with a dismal and wailing sound.

    Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume 3 France and the Netherlands, Part 1

  • He winked, as he spoke, at two of the company, who were known officially as the "bassoon" and the

    Silas Marner


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