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Reeds are made from the Arundo donax plant, also known as "giant cane", a member of the grass family.
Cane is a material naturally suited to the manufacture of musical reeds, due to its acoustic properties and flexibility. Bamboo, although a member of the same grass family and similar in appearance to Arundo donax, is too dense for reed making.
Flexibility and strength
Cane is a natural material that offers an optimal balance between flexibility and strength. This combination allows the reeds to vibrate freely while maintaining their shape and durability in extended use.
Cane has the ideal density for creating reeds that produce rich, balanced sounds. Its cellular structure and density allow good control of sound and nuance. Arundo donax, from which we make our reeds, has an average density of between 0.4 and 0.6. And although there are many species of bamboo, their densities are generally higher than 0.7.
Cane has unique acoustic properties that help to produce a clear, timbred and expressive sound. Its acoustic resonance enables the reeds to produce a wide range of sounds and musical colors.
Experience and tradition
The acoustic and playability factors of cane have been studied and mastered by reed producers over the years, making it the material of choice for clarinet and saxophone reeds.
Cane has long been used to make reeds for various wind instruments, including clarinets and saxophones. Among the earliest instruments to use reeds were the "aulos" of the ancient Greeks and the "tibia" of the Romans. The chalumeau, an ancestor of the clarinet, was widely used from the Middle Ages onwards. This wind instrument was often made of wood and featured a single reed, usually made of cane. The reed was attached to the end of the chalumeau, and the musician produced a sound by blowing into the instrument while manipulating their fingers over the holes to change the pitch of the notes. Its use has been perpetuated in the classical musical tradition, and know-how in the cultivation of specific canes has developed greatly.