The Glove in the Bassoon

The bassoon sits on a bass clarinet stand. Most of the glove is stuffed inside the bell, but part is visible. The prepared bassoon, at left, looks ordinary except for the latex at the top. The glove pops out of the bassoon when inflated by the player, at right.

Glen plays the bassoon, standing. An inflated glove with Mickey Mouse's face extends out of the bassoon's bell.

Glen Newton included the bassoon in his demonstration of woodwind instruments at Tesseract in Eagan, Minnesota, May 29, 2003. The high point of the demonstration for most of the preschoolers through eighth grade students in the audience was the "glove in the bassoon" trick.

Glen played some short excerpts on the bassoon for the audience, then asked them to please, at the end of the next excerpt, give him a big hand. The excerpt consisted of playing down to the lowest note on the bassoon (a B-flat below the bass staff). At that point, the air he was blowing into the instrument had no holes to escape from, because they were all closed. Thus the air went to the top of the bassoon's bell, where it inflated a surgical glove Glen had rubber-banded into place before the students arrived. By alternately inhaling and exhaling, Glen made the hand wave at the students, as they applauded enthusiastically, giving him a BIG HAND.