Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Clavicorno fagotto (brass bassoon) in B-flat

ca. 1888
Brass, nickel-silver
36 1/8 × 7 × 11 in. (91.8 × 17.8 × 27.9 cm)
Diameter: 4 7/8 in. (12.4 cm)
Aerophone-Lip Vibrated-horn
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 680
The quest for loud, robust, bass wind instruments led to a number of interesting designs in the 19th century. While the bassoon was adept at playing bass lines, it was not well suited to outdoor band use because of its easily damaged reed and bocal. The clavicorno fagotto was a more durable brass instrument that strove to emulate the sound of the bassoon with its narrow bore and a unique mouthpiece system. The stem of the mouthpiece is notched to allow air to escape into a perforated chamber. This deliberate leakage of air was intended to recreate the buzzy, nasal timbre of the bassoon. The instrument never acheived widespread popluarity.
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown
Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Europe. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1904, vol. I, pg. 195.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments of All Nations: I. Europe, Galleries 25 and 26, Central Cases of Galleries 27 and 28. Catalogue., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, vol. 13, pg. 195.

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