عنوان مقاله [English]
Pleasant, tuneful and moving sound is the principal element in playing a musical instrument. One of the major concerns facing musicians of woodwind reed instruments all over the world is having the right reed in order to produce sweet-sounding and appropriate music. The quality of reed cane material has significant impact on tune, timbre and difficulty of performance. Air current in reeds made from inferior quality canes is disturbed and thus negatively affects the most fundamental principles of musical performance such as tune, balance of different registers, creating various dynamics and maintaining diverse articulations. Musicians of woodwind reed instruments are often frustrated because of sudden changes in their reeds and their unstable condition. These changes generally occur due to subtle fluctuations in weather, temperature and humidity as a result of the organic nature of the cane. Various efforts and researches have been made in order to overcome the deficiencies and weaknesses of this natural material and substituting it with synthetic alternatives; however due to obvious differences in timbre and sound quality of synthetic and natural reeds, musicians insist on using the latter. Then again, diverse physical conditions of the performers and numerous methods of reed making, force many musicians and in particular performers of double-reed woodwind instruments, to make their own reeds. These musicians face several issues in the process of reed making such as the whole process being time-consuming and laborious, brittleness of the reed, expensiveness, instability of the natural material and inconsistency of the reed quality coming from various canes. Contrary to popular belief between musicians, inefficient and defective reeds are not usually the outcome of flawed reed making process or incompetency of the reed maker, but it is the inhomogeneous structure and divergent quality of the canes which lead to such deficiencies. One of the main reasons for inconsistencies in reed cane quality is neglecting the microscopic inspection of the fiber bands of Arundo donax plant at the time of harvest and solely relying on particular height of the plant. Cane species have different structure and growth rate based on their genetic formation, received sunlight and mineral compounds present in the soil. Therefore two different cane plants may be at different internal growth stages and maturity while having the same height. Fatigue phenomenon of the reed which occurs in reed’s motion cycle due to Bernoulli's principle is another major reason for flaws of this natural substance in making reed for woodwind instruments. This fact forces the reed under constant stress and results in minuscule and subsequently larger cracks in the reed body over time. The significance of reed making and the direct connection of this process with performance conditions are neglected in current educational programs of wood wind instruments in Iran and musicians are trained without considering reed quality effects on improving performance skills. This paper is the first attempt towards pointing out the significance of reed making in professional instruction of double reed wood wind instruments and the difficulties of using Arundo donax plant in the reed making process.