The bassoon is a woodwind instrument in the double reed family that typically plays music written in the bass and tenor registers and occasionally even higher. Appearing in its modern form in the 1800s, the bassoon figures prominently in orchestral, concert band, and chamber music literature. The instrument is known for its distinctive tone color, wide range, variety of character, and agility. Its warm, dark, reedy timbre has often been compared to that of a male baritone voice. Due to the complicated fingering and the problem of reeds, the bassoon is an especially difficult instrument to learn; schoolchildren typically take up the bassoon only after starting on another woodwind instrument, such as the flute, clarinet, or saxophone.