Basson d'Amour or Liebesfagott

In the Swiss Jura a few rather special instruments from the 18th century are kept, the "Basson d'Amour" or "Liebesfagott", an instrument close to the baroque bassoon. These instruments can be found in the Historischen Museum in Bern and in the church of Sornetan. In addition, a few museums like the MET in New York have one.

The basson d'amour can be characterized as an instrument that is close to a baroque bassoon, however with an onion shaped brass bell and many of them have no keys for the notes below F. If there are no back keys, the holes at the back are tuned for the ususal low E, D, C and Bb so that these notes could be played if the corresponding holes can be closed.

The basson d'amour has been used in protestant churches to accompany the singing. Here the basson d'amour was used together with the "Basse de Musette", a shawm like tenor instrument with a very wide bore and a curved bocal.

Below photos of the instruments in Sornetan are shown.

The cabinet with the two basson d'amour and four basse de musette instruments in Sornetan. Click for a larger picture.
Front and back of the basson d'amour. Click for a larger picture.
Top view of the bells. Click for a larger picture.
Key with makers mark of a basson d'amour. Click for a larger picture.
Boot of a basson d'amour. Click for a larger picture.
Two of the four basse de musette. Click for a larger picture.
Top of the basse de musette. Click for a larger picture.
Playing the basson d'amour with Nicholas Rihs. Click for a larger picture.
Playing the basse de musette. Click for a larger picture. Click for a larger picture.


Back to the main Baroque Bassoon page.

Remarks and comment to: Hans Mons

© Copyright 2003-2006 by Hans Mons.
Last updated on 18 February 2006