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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000057.txt from 2004/12

From: (Ormondtoby Montoya)
Subj: RE: [kl] Re: Reeds
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2004 17:49:26 -0500

Roger Shilcock wrote:

> Stiffer reeds tend to have closer fibres - so,
> even when thinned down, they last longer,
> are more reliable and don't get soaked.

Forest Aten wrote:

> How does a finishing cut, making a reed
> thicker or thinner, make any difference in the
> closeness of "fibres"?

To some extent (hence Roger's use of "tend" is appropriate, imo) reed
manufacturers claim that raw material properties dictate, in part at
least, the finished reed's stiffness. Thus (allegedly) stiffer reeds
come from batches of cane with closer fibers in the first place, no
matter what cut or thickness is used.

I can imagine that this is only partly true, but this is the claim that
I've heard.

As evidence, and strictly for the fun of it, I once made a reed out of a
popsicle stick. Someone else on this list commented that he and the
person sitting next to him used to challenge each other to make a reed
out of scraps of pine left behind by the set crew.

....anyway, while I *did* get a musical sound out of my
popsicle-stick-reed for 4-5 seconds before it collapsed completely, the
experiment showed very clearly that the raw material determines at least
as much of the finished product's properties as shape & thickness do.

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