Wilbur H. Simpson’s bassoon reed making notes

I was a student of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s second bassoonist, Wilbur H. Simpson, from 1968-1975. He was also bassoon professor at Northwestern University and gave me copies of some reed making handouts he used in classes there. In addition, he gave me a sketch for a bassoon cane shaper as designed by J. Walter Guetter (“the Heifetz of the bassoon”) and Vincent Pezzi. Interesting history! Click here to download: WHSimpson_Bassoon Reed Making notes


One comment

  1. I bought Wilbur Simpson’s Fox model III bassoon serial # 3221 from Burl Lane together with all his reed making tools and finished and unfinished reeds after his passing. Mr. Simpson played this bassoon for many years with the C.S.O. at the Ravinia Festival as it was perfect for outdoor performances.The reeds match the measurements given in his notes exactly. Most were 2-1/8″ long while some were 2-1/16″ and others 2-3/16″ long. The ears on the unfinished reeds were 17 mm wide but the finished reeds were exactly 15 mm wide. They were all a joy to play and I have kept several for posterity. Thank you for posting his reed making notes, Francis Pau, Consort Music, Trinidad.

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