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Making Clarinet Reeds

Making Clarinet Reeds

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Published by professoraloha
Professional article by Douglas Monroe on how to make your own clarinet reeds.
Professional article by Douglas Monroe on how to make your own clarinet reeds.

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Published by: professoraloha on Oct 30, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/15/2013

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1
REED MAKING METHOD
 byDouglas Monroe
 
2
TERMSArundo Donax
-The genus and species of the cane used to make reeds.
Back 
-The curved part of the reed with bark still attached.
Bark 
-The “skin” on the outside of the tube/back of the reed.
Blank 
-The section of cane used to make a reed before the cut has been made.
Bottom
-The flat side of the reed.
Butt
-The opposite end of the reed from the tip.
Cut
-The portion of the back of the reed where there is no longer bark.
Cutting
-The process of using a knife to remove cane from the reed in large portions.
Heart
-The middle section of the reed below the tip where the cane becomes denser andthicker.
Hill
-A mistake in the cutting process which results in higher areas rather than acontinuous smooth vamp. One can detect the larger hills by feel. For smaller hills, oneneeds to hold the reed up to a light to see the shadows created by the elevated surface.
Knife Check 
-The knife check (figure 1) is the most important measurement to the reedmaking process. Turn the knife upside down and place the non-beveled side against thereed’s vamp. Hold it up to the light to see the shape of the vamp between the knife andthe reed. This will show the point of maximum curvature and the shape of the vamp.
 
3 Figure 1
Point of Maximum Curvature
-The point at which the cut stops descending at adramatic rate and becomes straighter all the way to the tip.
Rails
-The sides of the reed.
Scraping
-The process of using a knife to remove cane in a scraping motion to take lesscane off of the reed than with a cut.
Tip
-The thinnest and most sensitive portion of the reed at the end of the cut.
Vamp
-The entire cut of the reed extending from the initial cut to the tip.
Xylem/Phloem
-The parts of the arundo donax that take and store nutrition up and downthe plant. These are shaped like veins and extend the entire length of the reed. These arethe portions of the reed that will expand and contract based upon the presence or absenceof moisture in the reed. This process of saturation and drying in the xylems and phloemsis what causes reeds to warp.

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