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cane free reeds?

Jack Campin 02 Dec 14 - 07:13 PM
Lester 03 Dec 14 - 04:09 AM
Leadfingers 03 Dec 14 - 04:24 AM
treewind 03 Dec 14 - 05:30 AM
terrier 03 Dec 14 - 08:14 PM
Jack Campin 04 Dec 14 - 04:25 AM
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Subject: cane free reeds?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Dec 14 - 07:13 PM

An idea that occasionally pops into my head.

Bamboo works fine for jews harps, I used to have a Far Eastern one like that.

Is there any reason why you couldn't make a cane- or bamboo-reeded melodeon, accordion or concertina?


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Subject: RE: cane free reeds?
From: Lester
Date: 03 Dec 14 - 04:09 AM

The Sheng, forerunner of all free reed instruments used bamboo reeds.

Wikipedia


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Subject: RE: cane free reeds?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Dec 14 - 04:24 AM

And a mate of mind makes a blown bagpipe which uses cut down Yoghurt pots for the reedsd


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Subject: RE: cane free reeds?
From: treewind
Date: 03 Dec 14 - 05:30 AM

I don't think modern shengs use bamboo: that would be the earlier instruments. I'd expect bamboo reeds to go out of tune rather quickly. A Jew's harp drifting out out tune wouldn't matter too much if you are playing it solo, but a whole set of reeds tuned to a scale would be a nightmare.

I was amused to see that Wiki picture of Guo Yi playing by the Thames. I met the Guo brothers (the other plays flute) when I was busking on melodeon outside the the South Bank Centre in 1986.

"bagpipe which uses cut down Yoghurt pots for the reeds"
Jon Swayne does that. He was very miffed when the particular brand of Yoghurt (carefully selected after much experimentation) changed their pot design to one that didn't make such good reeds.

But the sheng is a free reed instrument; bagpipes and other reeded woodwind have a quite different reed mechanism where the reed is vibrating against either another reed or a fixed surface, so though it's a good story, it's irrelevant to free reeds.


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Subject: RE: cane free reeds?
From: terrier
Date: 03 Dec 14 - 08:14 PM

I saw a bottle organ at Liverpool museum years ago, I wonder if that could be scaled down to accordion size, no problems with keeping in tune, unlike cane which is at the mercy of changes of air pressure, humidity,etc. The favourite cane for reedmakers is Arundo donax but anything that will vibrate and can be shaped can be used as reed material. Many woods lend themselves favourably to reed making. The Welsh Pibgorn uses a tube of Elder for its reed and a lot of modern make repro bagpipes now use 'plastic' reeds. Bamboo tends to be too hard and brittle but maybe could be used for free reeds although mounting it I think would be a problem.
Which instrument uses a paper reed? The Kazoo.


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Subject: RE: cane free reeds?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Dec 14 - 04:25 AM

The kazoo doesn't have a reed at all - I think the technical term is "sound modifier". The cardboard from a Rizla packet works briefly as a clarinet reed, you can just about get through the opening phrase of Rhapsody in Blue before it gives up.

The most desperate alternative clarinet reed I've heard of is in a Romanian folk instrument which stretched the skin of an eviscerated slug across the mouthpiece end. I have never even seen one, still less tried to play it. It would only work while damp so it wouldn't work for a bellows-blown instrument - you'd have to keep requesting pints of beer to soak the slugs.


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