Double Reed Instruments
About Double Reed Instruments
Double reed collectively refers to the group of instruments that use double reeds. The double reed is a kind of reed used to produce sound in a variety of wind instruments. Double reed instruments have two reeds vibrating against each other while for a single reed one piece of cane vibrates against a mouthpiece that is made of metal hardened rubber or resin. The main musical instruments that use a double reed are the Oboe and the Bassoon. And there are others such as the Cor Anglais popularly known as the English horn and the contrabassoon that are bigger brothers of the oboe and bassoon respectively as well as some ancient instruments like the shawm and the racket.
Bassoons are crafted from the Arundo donax cane. The construction of double reeds for the oboe family of instruments is similar to that of the bassoon reeds however the oboe does not have a bocal and the cane has to be fastened to a metal tube that is the staple and the lower half surrounded by a piece of cork. Reeds can be bought either ready-made or in different stages of configuration like part-scraped reed blanks or the staples and cane can be procured separately. Also the cane is sold in several forms like tubes gouged gouged and shaped or gouged shaped and profiled. Reeds can be fashioned made from different canes but the traditional ones are from southern France. When it comes to the tonal quality it all depends of the shape of the staples. The Bassoon double reeds are broader and shorter than the oboe double reeds so they do not need a tight embouchure to produce sound. Almost all the double reed embouchures are similar and the musicians need to pull their lips over their teeth to protect the reed from their teeth.