It's the deepest of the woodwind family and a frequent bass-line player, but the bassoon has some brilliant moments in classical music. Its warm, dark, reedy tone makes it the instrumental counterpart to the male tenor voice.
The complicated fingering and complex double reed (often made by the player themselves) make the bassoon more difficult to learn than other instruments, but it is a very satisfying one to play once mastered. The distinctive tone suits plaintive, lyrical solos such as Maurice Ravel's Bolero. Yet, the timbre is also apt for comical solos, some of the most popular and recognizable repertoire for the instrument, such as the grandfather's theme in Peter and the Wolf.
Discover more of this wonderful instrument with our special playlist of brilliant bassoon moments.