Nissen Bassoon Crook

NisseN Bassoon Crooks (Bocals)

Bassoon Crook Manufacturing

The bassoon crook (bocal) is the connecting agent between the instrument and reed and therefore is of the utmost importance affecting tone and intonation.

Traditional Method:

A piece of metal is cut into an elongated triangle, folded over a steel mandrill and braised along the seam. It is then forced, with a steel mandrill inside the tube, through a soft metal block to shape the outside.

Disadvantages of this method of production are an inherent weakness of the seam leading to a possible leak. Further problems arise later as the base metal hardens with age the seam can split. Once a split occurs, even a very small one, the crook is most likely un-repairable.Further, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to vary the wall thickness along a tapered tube. Therefore the design has to compromise this aspect to give both dampening and vibration in one even thickness along the crook.

NisseN Method:

The Nissen method is completely new and revolutionary and bears no resemblance to the traditional method. The tube is machine-shaped from drawn brass and worked using a special process in which the conical tube is made thicker at the start (reed end) and thinner at the other instrument end (wing joint). There is no seam.

The advantages with this system:

All factors of the Bassoon set-up are in order of priority - Reed, Crook and Bassoon. Of course, as any reed instrumentalist will know, the reed is the most important. However, after the reed the crook will make all the difference to the resultant tone and intonation.

A small inaccuracy at the bell end of the bassoon is hardly going to affect anything. However, a very small inaccuracy at the reed end of the crook is of vital importance.

The first 10cms or so of the crook has a significant effect on both tone and intonation. If the wall dimensions at this point are too thin then the vibrations and overtones can upset the intonation making the traditionally 'difficult' notes on the bassoon even more unstable. Therefore, the wall thickness of the first 10cms should 'calm down' these vibrations by being a thicker material.

After the first section of the crook, the wall thickness can afford to be thinner, thereby releasing the vibrations and overtones to 'add' to the tone characteristics. The NisseN crook therefore has a gradual decrease in wall thickness from reed end to instrument end.

NisseN - Makers marks on end ring:


£420.00 including VAT