Safety First

A holiday is a great time to stop and notice things about the world around you that you don’t have time for normally. Today I explored the perimeter of my new abode for the first time and discovered that like many houses in the neighbourhood, mine has a built-in escape ladder, a tremendously useful thing when you life on the third storey.

It’s also a good chance to get an instrument that’s not quite in peak performance condition in for a quick service. In the process of inspecting my bassoon to make a wish list of potential repairs, I discovered something I never expected to see again – a series of cracks in the finish of the wing joint, running parallel to the grain of the wood. The first time I saw this was a little under two years ago with my previous instrument. It indicates that water is seeping into the wood and causing it to swell, eventually leading to a sharp deterioration in performance. The tubes that are meant to protect that very thing from happening turned out to be improperly sealed. It’s a rare condition. I’m a little stunned to have encountered it twice in as many years.

I don’t mean to ramble on. My point is, if you see something weird with your bassoon, like a ton of cracks that are hard to explain, get the darn thing in to a qualified repair person as soon as you can. The problem will only get worse if you leave it.


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