bassoonic (bəˈsuːnɪk) adjective – like a bassoon

One of the exercises we did at the singing class I went to this morning was to imagine our voices were like different instruments and coming from different parts of the body. The instruments were the flute (a smallish, narrow voice), the clarinet (a medium, wider voice), and the bassoon (a full, wide voice). One of us coined the word bassoonic to describe this type of voice, which we all thought was a great word.

There are probably technical terms to describe the different ways of breathing and singing involved, but we find it helps to use these types of images.

4 thoughts on “Bassoonic

  1. I think you are referring to timbre, which is, for lack of a better way to describe it, the “quality” or “color” of sound. Assuming all the other major factors of sound, such as pitch and rhythm, are the same, timbre would be the distinguishing factor here.

    Check out this series of lectures on the brain and music from the World Science Festival. Bobby McFerrin gives some good examples of differences in timbre. Also, in one of the videos (the last one, I think), the host brings up the topic of language, specifically tonal languages.

  2. Just my tuppence: shouldn’t “bassoonic” be described as an adjective instead of a noun?

  3. Well, you could turn it back into a noun by adding a -ness suffix and cram even more double letters in there: “bassoonness”!

  4. Tommy – those are interesting videos, and it was timbre we were playing with.

    Caenwyr – you’re right, it is an adjective rather than a noun.

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