The Bassoon of the future is here now!
The Weisberg System
Would you like the following statements
to apply to your bassoon?
Absolutely unable to crack.
Perfect slurs on the most problematic notes.
Never having to flick again.
Ease of fingering.
Better quality and pitch on six of the worst notes.
This is what the Weisberg System promises and delivers, and it does all of this automatically, with no new fingerings to learn.
Why is a new system necessary?
Because the bassoon has greatly lagged behind the other woodwinds in its development. On the other hand, the Boehm system was a significant advance, but was not applied to the bassoon. Instead, we are left with a key system from the 19th Century. Since that time, a great many keys have been added, giving the bassoon an easier high register, and providing a number of trill keys. This is all well and good, but some of the bassoon’s most basic acoustical problems were never addressed. Is there any other woodwind that has such glaring flaws that it cannot play a number of the most often used notes without cracking? In addition, there is great difficulty in slurring to and from those notes. This is an intolerable situation. These problems are all caused by the inadequate octave system on the bassoon, and center around the whisper key, also called the octave key. This key operates the vent on the crook, and when it was introduced, it was an advance over not having any octave key at all. However, it is a very poor substitute for a true octave system.
An octave vent is required when the fingering for a note and the same note an octave higher, is the same, as it is for nine notes; those from low F#, up to the D above it. Notes that have completely different fingerings between their octaves do not need an octave key, although a few of them require a special slur fingering.
At the present time, and for about the last 100 years, two methods for changing octaves have been in use; the whisper key, and the half hole, which functions as an octave vent, and is used for F#, G, and G#. The whisper key is used from tuning A up to D. Both are very poor compromises, with the whisper key being the worst of the two. The reason they are poor compromises, is that they are simply in the wrong place on the bore. If this were not true, there wouldn’t be cracking and slurring problems.
The Weisberg System consists of two new vent holes, properly placed on the bore, and of the correct size, together with the interconnections that allow the system to operate completely automatically. It is quite easy to learn because all one has to do is to NOT flick. The system was designed with a great deal of help and input from James Keyes, who does all of the installations. The Weisberg System is now available from us on all new Fox bassoons, and as retrofits to older Foxes, Heckels, and other makes. At present, the system has been installed on a number of Foxes, a Heckel, and a Schrieber.
The average cost for the system is $2,300. This also includes a left had little finger whisper key, a very useful key in its own right. The price will vary depending on how one’s bassoon has been configured. For more information, or to order, contact:
Arthur Weisberg- firstname.lastname@example.org 561 251-0501
James Keyesemail@example.com 615 529 4657
What do others have to say?
“Dear Arthur: Thank you for coming to Philadelphia and demonstrating your Super double octave key system. There's everything to recommend it's usage on all present day bassoons. I could see that everybody present was not only impressed by how it worked, but wished they could immediately incorporate it on their instruments. I think the Weisberg double-octave system is an essential device that helps the standard German bassoon system in correcting the obvious pitch, tonal unevenness and response of the notes from A2-D3, five critical notes in the bassoon's expressive tenor range.” Bernard Garfield-former 1st Bassoon of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
“Arthur Weisberg’s ingenious advancements are so logical and easily adaptable, it seems incredible it took this long for our instruments to evolve. This is likely to be a turning point in the history of the bassoon.”
Frank Morelli- New York bassoon soloist and teacher
“Your improvements are amazing. Without any change of “Technique” the problems of cracking or less than clear attacks on the sensitive notes of A, Bb, and B, are no longer a problem. In addition, I found that the middle C and D have much more clarity and focus. I will look forward to incorporating these improvements on my bassoon.”
The members of the Chicago Symphony
“WE WANT YOU TO KNOW HOW IMPRESSED WE WERE WITH THE INGENIOUS MECHANISMS YOU DEMONSTRATED FOR US LAST MONTH. THE ARTICULATED SPEAKER-KEY SYSTEM DISPLAYS A BRILLIANT DESIGN AND ACOMPLISHES A GREAT SIMPLIFICATION FOR THE LEFT THUMB. IF THIS MECHANISM COULD BE PRODUCED AT A REASONABLE PRICE, WE COULD SEE IT BECOMING PART OF THE STANDARD KEY SYSTEM. IT WOULD PUT AN END TO THE “NO FLICK” FEUD THAT HAS RAGED FOR SO MANY YEARS”
David Mcgill, Bill Buchman, Dennis Michael (who already has the system on his Fox 601), and Burl Lane