Which style of music is dying out

The bassoon player is the panda among musicians. Says Bram van Sambeek, and he should know, because he is a professional bassoon player. What Mr van Sambeek wants to say: The bassoon player and the panda have one thing in common - they are threatened with extinction.

The clumsy black and white bears can, however, be pushed down a slide, then people squeak ecstatically and are interested again in the fact that there are only a few pandas left. This is more difficult with the woodwind instrument: a bassoon is simply not cute and it tumbles down from a slide rather unspectacularly - not to mention the bassoon player.

That is why van Sambeek makes do with the dramatic comparison between the bamboo eater and the woodwind. He fears that fewer and fewer young people will be interested in playing the bass-register aerophone - after all, the instrument of the year 2012. Save the bassoon is the name of the campaign he heads - Save the bassoon. "There is this danger," said the young Dutchman Guardian. "And that's why the future of the orchestra is also in danger." Many professional musicians in Europe are now taking part in the campaign.

Bassoon players have no money and nobody finds them important

There are more bassoon jokes than you might think - one of them goes like this: How do you make a million dollars playing the bassoon? - You start with two million. Oh, and one more thing: what do you call a successful bassoon player? - A guy whose wife has two jobs.

Principle recognized? As a bassoon player you don't make big money and you are not important anyway, that's how the instrument's humor works. The bassoon's original role in the orchestra was to accompany the choir. Wagner and Mahler discovered it for bizarre or comical effects, cartoons adopted this interpretation. Someone stepping on a duck? The bassoon does Pfrrrööööööt.

The typical starting age for the bassoon is 13 years - also because the instrument is quite large. For participation in competitions such as "Jugend musiziert" or making music in a youth orchestra, however, it is late: there, competitive performances are expected at this age group. As a result, the music academies are now running out of young bassoonists.

"At the moment, only one percent of people on the street recognize the instrument," Van Sambeek told the Guardian. "The day will come when no one will know what it is anymore." That is why he himself can be photographed in semi-dramatic poses with his instrument: on a rock in front of a sunset, while cycling. In addition, he will play a rock version of Vivaldi's bassoon music in London next year, before that there will be a few other concerts under the slogan Save the bassoon instead of.

In this context it should also be mentioned: The oboe is also loud Save the bassoon threatened with extinction. And the French horn. The viola. And the trumpet. Not to forget: the double bass. It's really a tough life out there in the wild for inexperienced classical instruments.