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basset horn

an alto horn with a soft tone.
1825-35; < German Bassetthorn < Italian corno di bassetto horn of a somewhat low range. See corn2, basset1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for basset horn

basset horn

an obsolete woodwind instrument of the clarinet family
Word Origin
C19: probably from German Bassetthorn, from Italian bassetto, diminutive of basso + horn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for basset horn

clarinet pitched a fourth lower than the ordinary B clarinet, probably invented in about 1770 by A. and M. Mayrhofer of Passau, Bavaria. The name derives from its basset ("small bass") pitch and its original curved-horn shape (later supplanted by an angular form). Its bore is narrower than that of the E alto clarinet, and it has a downward extension of compass to the low F of the bass voice (written as C). The boxwood instrument is usually built to order, in straight form with upturned bell

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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