In a previous post, a quote from Allan Blank mentioned a sarrusophone and my curiosity was piqued. What kind of instrument is it? Is it found in often in orchestras? What does it sound like? I don’t profess to have an extensive knowledge of orchestra composition. However, I do have a bit of a musical background after a brief flirtation with the flute in sixth grade and have attended many classical concerts throughout my life. Yet, I never heard of the sarrusophone and wondered if I had missed an important member of the musical world.
According to my research, the sarrusophone was first created in the 1850’s as an answer for the need for a louder bassoon-like instrument for outdoor performances. Thus, making the sarrusophone a woodwind instrument, but with two reeds instead of the usual one. Its construction is as if a saxophone crossed with a bassoon.
It seems that the sarrusophone never quite gained the popularity that the instrument it was attempting to replace already possessed. While, oboes and bassoons are still widely played in orchestras today, the sarrusophone is much rarer. However, it continues to have a following of avid enthusiasts and composers.
As for ‘what does it sound like?’ click here to find out!
Now, my search continues to see if Allan Blank ever did write for the sarrusophone.