Basset Horn


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Basset Horn

 

alto clarinet.

At the end of the 18th century the basset horn consisted of two straight sections arranged at an angle, a mouthpiece with a single reed, and a bell. The modern basset horn is similar to a bass clarinet but smaller. Its timbre is soft, deep, and somber. During the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century it was used as a solo instrument and in the orchestra. Since the second half of the 19th century the basset horn has seldom been used.

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Nicholas Cox (who can be heard in the Mozart Clarinet Quintet on February 21, later led a trio of players on basset horns, now rarely featured but said to be Mozart's favourite instrument.