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large, deep-toned instrument of the oboe family, also called double bassoon. Its tube, over 16 ft (5 m) long, is doubled upon itself four times. It was first made by Hans Schreiber of Berlin in 1620. Handel, Haydn, and Beethoven used it for special effects, but it was characterized by faulty intonation until a German, Wilhelm Heckel, in the late 19th cent. made the type generally used today.



a wind musical instrument; a variety of the bassoon with a lower pitch. The instrument was created in the early 17th century by the German master craftsman H. Schreiber and perfected in the early 20th century by the German designer J. A. Heckel. Its tube is nearly 5 m long, and its com-pass is Cl-f. The contrabassoon is used in symphony orchestras and wind ensembles.