Penn State

Daryl W. Durran - professor of bassoon, Penn State University Park

Book Title: A Bundle of Joy—A Practical Handbook for the Bassoon

Author: Maarten Vonk

Book Description:

This book, which was self-published by Dutch bassoonist and bassoon repairman Maarten Vonk, is the book I wish I had in the 1970s when I was a young bassoonist. It is beautifully produced and addresses the historical development of the bassoon; bassoon makers; the instrument's acoustics; performance techniques including breathing, embouchure, and fingerings; maintenance and do-it-yourself repairs; and the contrabassoon. The section of the book relating how the Iron Curtain divided the small geographic area where most woodwind instruments were manufactured, and the effect on woodwind making, would have captivated a cold-war era adolescent bassoonist(as it does me today). In addition to containing so much valuable and interesting information, the book is full of terrific photographs and diagrams.

The book's title, A Bundle of Joy certainly describes my forty-year relationship with the bassoon.


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