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treewind cane free reeds? (6) RE: cane free reeds? 03 Dec 14


I don't think modern shengs use bamboo: that would be the earlier instruments. I'd expect bamboo reeds to go out of tune rather quickly. A Jew's harp drifting out out tune wouldn't matter too much if you are playing it solo, but a whole set of reeds tuned to a scale would be a nightmare.

I was amused to see that Wiki picture of Guo Yi playing by the Thames. I met the Guo brothers (the other plays flute) when I was busking on melodeon outside the the South Bank Centre in 1986.

"bagpipe which uses cut down Yoghurt pots for the reeds"
Jon Swayne does that. He was very miffed when the particular brand of Yoghurt (carefully selected after much experimentation) changed their pot design to one that didn't make such good reeds.

But the sheng is a free reed instrument; bagpipes and other reeded woodwind have a quite different reed mechanism where the reed is vibrating against either another reed or a fixed surface, so though it's a good story, it's irrelevant to free reeds.


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