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The Clown of the Orchestra Takes Its Revenge

You might think you haven’t heard the bassoon outside a concert hall before, but you have: The woodwind instrument features prominently in the theme music of Leave It To Beaver, represents the grandfather character in Peter and the Wolf, and scores Mickey Mouse’s misadventure with the dancing broomsticks in Fantasia. Notice a trend there?

” ‘Uh oh — things are going comically awry!’ That’s the way I think it is most often used in television and movies,” says Eileen Reynolds, who has played the bassoon since elementary school. “When I started playing it, I started getting these really strange comments from people. My dad said it looked like a plumber had gotten drunk, because there’s all this tubing and keys.” (Lauren Silverman, NPR)