Re: [Histonet] Arundo (Bamboo cane reeds)

From:"Jo Dee Fish"

Dear Deanna,
Wow, this is interesting!  I am a clarinet player and I 
guess I know a little about reeds, although clarinet reeds 
are a bit different in shape from bassoon reeds, but they 
are still made of bamboo.
One of the reasons that bamboo is used is that they are 
flexible after soaking (the player walks around for about 
15 minutes with the reed in their mouth to get the right 
amount of flexibility) but still stiff enough to vibrate 
when air is passed by them.  Every player soaks to their 
own desired moisture depending on their ombusure (spelling 
probably wrong!), and usually during long rest periods 
during a concert they will resoak them or lick them often 
to keep them moist.
All of this being said, I can't imagine anyone wanting to 
embed their reeds in a known carcinogenic (resin) or an 
alcohol (drying properties) or DMSO (will allow whatever 
was on the reed last to enter the bloodstream of the 
player when placed in the mouth).  Besides, embedding them 
in a resin will not allow the soaking needed to make the 
reed flexible.
The reeds are going to break down no matter how well they 
are treated.  After all, they are plant matter and plant 
cells break down.  He and his musician friends might want 
to look into making their own reeds (I had seen websites 
in the past that explained how to "do-it-yourself") and 
possibly researching new materials to make the reeds from. 
 Maybe they will discover something that will benefit all 
musicians without giving them cancer of the tongue or 
Tell your friend good luck,
Jo Dee

On Tue, 13 Sep 2005 07:58:20 -0400
  "Snider, Deanna"  wrote:
> Hello netters!  This is an odd one.... But I need 
>whatever input you may
> have. 
> I have a co worker, who is a bassoonist,( also has a 
>biology degree)  He and
> a group of musicians have been trying to figure out a 
>way to increase the
> life and use of the reeds used on the Bassoon.  They are 
>handmade and quite
> pricey, and last only about a week.  
> They have been trying to embed these reeds in LR White 
>resin + etoh. He says
> they have had little success.  He also asked about 
>something called DMSO.
> Does anyone know what he is talking about?  Are there 
>any histologists here
> who deal with plants?  Wouldn't he need to infiltrate 
>this material?  The
> reeds are approx .05- 1.3 mm.  Whatever is used cannot 
>add thickness to the
> reed and must be safe for them to put in their mouth 
>when they play.  ( I am
> lost!)
> Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated......I told 
>him I would post
> this and see what people may know...
> Shriners Hospital for Children
> Research Dept.
> Cincinnatti, Oh
> 513-872-6388
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