Saturday, January 28, 2012
How a cleaned bassoon reed ages
The lower reed is a new reed I'm working on finishing. The old reed is still working, but I'm getting worried about it. The color is getting darker, maybe the pitch is rising, and I'm feeling like some of my problems are the reed's fault. Having a new one on hand gives me a comparison, to see how the old one has aged. I arranged the light in the picture to try and demonstrate the difference in texture between the reeds. The old reed has developed grooves between the white cellulose fibers. I'm not sure what the material between the fibers is, maybe lignin, but whatever it is, it seems to be lost faster than the white fibers. I should check the interior of the old reed when I discard it, see if a similar effect is occurring on the interior.