I played bassoon all through high school and was lured away by rock and roll. Someday I'd like to take it up again and probably will.

My question concerns the bassoon line in the Pink Floyd song, "Is There Anybody Out There?". When the nylon string guitar starts its arpeggios, there is what I presume to be a bassoon playing a quarter note pattern that starts on an A and shoots up a couple of octaves. It sound like an embouchure thing, but I'm not even sure if it's an actual bassoon or something else. Like all other things completely unfair to bassoonists, the internet has been of no help so far! Hopefully someone here will give a listen.




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I'm hearing -

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I'm not hearing it shoot up two octaves at all. There are violin harmonics up there but I don't think the bassoon goes so high. Did they re-record it? I'm listening to the 2011 remastered version.

  • 1
    That's ok for bassoon. The bassoon solo that opens Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring' starts on the C above that A, and even goes up to the D. Every bassoonist considers ability to play it a necessary professional requirement, just as every clarinettist has to manage the opening glissando of 'Rhapsody in Blue'. (But it's a synth.) Apr 16 '20 at 23:52
  • @Laurence Payne I know. It's fine. But the OP said it shot up TWO octaves. I know the Rite of Spring very well indeed. I know the range of a bassoon and that bassonists need to be able to play it, scary though it is to start the whole kaboodle off. AND I know about the clarinet in Rhapsody in Blue. BUT if it's a synth it's a remarkably good one for its time. Apr 17 '20 at 0:39
  • That’s what I hear but it sounds an octave up, the first note is a 6th above middle C. Apr 17 '20 at 8:09
  • How strange, John. I just can't hear that. I CAN hear it where I said. I've checked. And I can hear other instruments up there - violins and a synth - but not the bassoon. Is it the 2011 re-mastered version you're listening to, btw? I wonder if they got Brian Gulland to play it. We need a record-sleeve! Apr 17 '20 at 9:12
  • 1
    Yeah, it DOES sound like tenor clef on the recording, doesn't it? :-) Apr 17 '20 at 13:18

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