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Reed (music)

A reed is a thin strip of material which vibrates to make music. The reeds of woodwind musical instruments are usually made of Arundo donax; tuned reeds are made of metal or plastic.

There are several types of reeds: double reeds used on the bassoon, oboe, bagpipes, and some organss and single reeds used on the clarinet and saxophone. Some reed makers are Vandoren, La Voz, Rico, Hemke, and many more. Reeds are made out of a grass (cane) or plastic. The finest cane is grown in the Var region of France. Reeds vary in strength and those strengths vary among reed makers. Reeds can also be hand-cut and trimmed with special hardware. Double reeds sound differently from single reeds. A reed is part of what gives the clarinet its mellow sound, a saxophone its edgy sound, an oboe its nasal sound, and a bassoon its distinctive sound.

See also: Free-reed instrument