Russian bassoon (Fr. basson russe, serpent-basson, serpent-droit, ophibariton; It. serpentone)
- Reginald Morley-Pegge
(Fr. basson russe, serpent-basson, serpent-droit, ophibariton; It. serpentone)
A variety of upright serpent made in three or four sections, two of which, in a more massive form, resemble the butt and wing joint of the bassoon. The bell section is generally made in two parts, a straight wooden joint fitting into the butt, often capped by a brass flared bell or a painted dragon’s head as illustrated here (the dragon’s head variety was also called ophibariton). Many instruments of the dragon’s head type were made at Lyons by such makers as Sautermeister, Jeantet and Tabard during the second quarter of the 19th century. The instrument is completed by a curved swan-neck crook. Six finger-holes and either three or four keys are normal, while in compass and playing technique it in no way differs from the serpent, except that it is much more convenient to hold.
Its origin may be found in Régibo’s serpent, which was announced in Framery’s ...