Reed Instruments

instruments produce sound by focusing air into a mouthpiece which then causes a , or reeds, to vibrate. Similar to flutes, pipes are also further divided into three types: single- , double- , and free- .

Single- woodwinds produce sound by placing a onto the opening of a mouthpiece (originally tied with string by now using a ligature ). When air is forced between the and the mouthpiece , the causes the air column in the instrument to vibrate and produce its unique sound. Single instruments include the clarinet , saxophone , and others such as the chalumeau .

Double- instruments use two precisely cut, small pieces of cane bound together at the base. This form of sound production has been estimated to have originated in the middle to late Neolithic period; its discovery has been attributed to the observation of wind blowing through a split rush. The finished, bound is inserted into the instrument and vibrates as air is forced between the two pieces (again, causing the air within the instrument to vibrate as well). This family includes instruments such as the oboe , cor anglais (also called English horn) and bassoon , and many types of shawms throughout the world.

Bagpipes are instruments that use both a single- and double-reeds. The chanter has a while the drones have single reeds.

Free- instruments have reeds that are arranged in a frame.  The can be made of either metal or cane and is attached at one side to the frame while the other sides are “free” to vibrate.  Instruments that use free-reeds include the harmonica , accordion , and organ.