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A reed is often attached to a musical instrument. They come in different quantities, such as double or triple. I wonder which type of wood and/or other material is available for making an effective reed.

  • Cane is the traditional material, dating back thousands of years. – Todd Wilcox Aug 31 '19 at 23:47
  • Yes, you're right.. I am hopeful to a detailed answer to my question. – aitía Sep 1 '19 at 2:47
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Your question is very broad, in that you do not even attempt to clarify what purpose it serves. There is an abundance of various reed instruments out there. Why are you interested in the material used? To build your own reed instrument? Are you a double-reed player who needs to make their own reeds?

  1. The most common reed material when it comes to Western music is cane (Arundo Donax). The vast majority of saxophone, clarinet, bassoon and other reeds are made from that plant.
  2. Synthetic reeds are becoming reasonably popular with regard to Western instruments. Most are made from polymer compounds, like polypropylene.
  3. Palm leaves can be used for some instruments too, like the quadruple-reed sralai.
  4. Willow, brass and steel can also be used for other instruments, like harmonica, concertina, accordion and their variations.
  5. Stone and bone would be some of the less conventional reed materials, mostly associated with folk instruments.
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    Thank you for providing good examples. – aitía Sep 26 '19 at 18:06
  • The dizi doesn't have a reed. It has a resonance membrane. – PiedPiper Sep 28 '19 at 21:49
  • @PiedPiper, how would one distinguish between a reed and a membrane then? Because a lot of resources seem to refer to that membrane as a reed. – Pyromonk Sep 28 '19 at 23:59
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    A reed vibrates and produces the sound. The membrane just resonates in sympathy with the sound. You can replace the membrane of a dizi with scotch tape and the instrument will still work. You only lose the richness of sound. – PiedPiper Sep 29 '19 at 8:01

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