Ortwein High A Bridge
Designed by Mark Ortwein, the bassoon professor at Indianapolis University, and a bassoon and saxophone freelance musician in that area, the Ortwein High A Bridge is designed to help with the pitch of "high A" and "high Bb." Without a bridge, those notes are essentially "double vented" at the whisper key and the high A tone hole, leading to a tendency toward sharpness on high A and high Bb. By adding the bridge, touching the high A key closes the whisper key, allowing the pitch to be lower with less effort.
Now a standard feature on many new professional bassoons, the bridge is often omitted from intermediate and student model bassoons. A good repair technician for bassoons can install one, but the main advantage of Mr. Ortwein's product is that no repair tech is needed. Thus it is already a cheaper option. A side benefit is that the bridge can be installed on the low C# key's rod, position just above the left thumb low C key, allowing low C# to be, with just a slight alteration of the thumb position, fingered like low C, and making a very effective low C# to D# (low Db to Eb) trill possible.
The Ortwein High A Bridge is easily installed. With a flat head screwdriver, remove the screw to position the bridge on either the whisper key or low C# rod, insert and tighten the screw making sure the bridge portion either rests on the high A key or becomes the touchpiece for low C# by the left hand thumb. It's that simple!
The Ortwein High A Bridge is made of aluminum.