Quality indicators for woodwind reed material

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

For the generation of sound, some woodwind musical instruments, e.g. oboe, bassoon, clarinet and saxophone, are provided with mouthpieces made from reeds. These reeds are the culms of Arundo donax, a tall, cane-like perennial grass. A general problem is that the material is of varying quality, yet externally differences cannot be observed. Hence, large proportions of the prepared reeds are unusable. One hypothesis is that the changes in quality are correlated with differences in the chemical and anatomical structure of the tissue. Therefore, a comparison of superior and inferior mouthpieces, used by professional musicians, was undertaken to determinate potential indicators of quality. Nuclear microprobe analysis of reeds was carried out and complemented by scanning electron and light microscopy. The elemental levels of Si, P, S, Cl, K and Ca were compared between good and poor mouthpieces using appropriate statistical tests. No statistically significant differences could be identified. Microscopical observations showed that partial occlusion of vessels by tylose formation was associated with material deemed unusable.

Details

Authors
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Subatomic Physics
  • Biological Sciences
  • Zoology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-678
JournalNuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research. Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Volume150
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Functional Zoology (432112239), Nuclear Physics (Faculty of Technology) (011013007), Molecular Cell Biology (432112241)