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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000238.txt from 1999/04

From: "Fernando Silveira" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Reeds, should I put them in water?
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 13:10:14 -0400

Dear Roger, I would like, once more, to explain the results of my
dissertation about clarinet reeds.
Soak reeds in water or in saliva does not make any diference in terms of
logevity of the reed's life.
Saliva is made of 95% of water and, as the reed is made of cellulose, the
acids from the stomach does not affect the reeds at all. For the truth, if
you "eat" one reed it will pass through your stomach without any phisic
But, when you soak the reed on a cup of water, the reed tends to be soaked
quickly, because the water easily goes up to the reed; diferent from the
saliva.(it is called specifc gravity)

All the best

Fernando Silveira
Principal Clarinet - National Symphony - Brazil
Clarinet & Saxophone Professor - Rio de Janeiro University
Phone (55)(21) 613-4229
Fax (55)(21)716-2248
-----Mensagem original-----
De: Mr. Sheim <>
Data: Domingo, 4 de Abril de 1999 14:50
Assunto: Re: [kl] Reeds, should I put them in water?

>At 10:03 AM 4/4/99 -0500, you wrote:
>>On Sun, 4 Apr 1999 wrote:
>>> Do you reccomend putting reeds in water? What are the
>>> advantages/disadvantages of doing this?
>>> Thanks,
>>> Nick
>>Now this is a good question!
>>In the 1970's a questionaire was sent to clarinet teachers and performers
>>who help major positions in the United States - I believe by Goldman
>>(first name excapes me). In fact, a second questionaire was sent out just
>>last year I believe and we are still waiting for the results/compilation
>>of that one. In any event, many clarinetists discussed ways to prepare
>>reeds. I will try to remember to grab that copy off the shelf in my
>>office when I am next there and check it for references to soaking in
>>water vs. ? Saliva perhaps?
>>I used to soak only in my mouth or get the reed gooey with saliva (several

>>of them), and allow them to soak on top of my reed case (resting on the
>>bark side) before playing and adjusting/practicing. I have long since
>>stopped that practice and put them in a shot glass filled with water. I
>>like soaking the entire reed. Reasons? Hmmmm.......I don't know if it is
>>accurate or not, but somewhere I aquired a belief that the minerals in the
>>saliva break the pores/fibers of the reed down more quickly than water.
>>Water also seems to do a better job of soaking the entire reed - although
>>the older the reed, the longer they have to soak. For me, they just seem
>>to play better when they are broken in and then soaked in water.
>>But what a great question - I'm curious what others do?
>>Roger Garrett
>>Professor of Clarinet
>>Director - Concert Band, Symphonic Winds & Titan Band
>>Advisor - Recording Studio
>>Illinois Wesleyan University
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