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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:52 am 
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Whilst I continue (occaisionally) to endeavour to get a single-reed to work reliably in what I'm hoping will be a pibgorn, the question struck me ... "Am I wasting my time? Would I be as well off using a double-reed, as in a bagpipe chanter or stock-and-horn?"

Is there any significant difference in the tone or breath-pressure required between a single-reed or a double-reed?

What I'm really interested in is making an 8-hole diatonic capped-reed pipe, just for "something different". I can (almost) get a passable tune out of a bagpipe practice chanter, but that has it's own "unique" fingering which is not something I want to spend time learning, for the amount of time I'll actually use it.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts :)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:26 pm 
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I'm certainly no expert in reeds, but I can't say I recall any windcap instrument that uses a single reed. I've always thought single reeds were relegated to things like clarinets and saxophones where the player's mouth holds the reed.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:17 pm 
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Quote:
I can't say I recall any windcap instrument that uses a single reed
... my specific reference was the pibgorn, which started me on this journey about a year ago, when I found reference to using elder to make one, then I found a nice piece of dead, dry, un-rotted elder, still on the bush. I've still got that piece of wood, now with fingerholes in it, and I'm still trying to put a reed in it that will play an octave without "dying" completely or sounding like a particularly uncomfortable duck :lol:

In the meantime I've taught myself to read music (more or less), play the whistle and recorder (almost), make several whistles and a flute, bought several whistles, some recorders, some ocarinas, a gemshorn and a chalumeau, but I'd still like to make a pibgorn :)

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Last edited by Kypfer on Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:49 am 
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Many folk instruments of the "hornpipe" type use single reeds enclosed in a windcap, like the Basque alboka, the Istrian diple, the Slovak gajdica and many more. Others, like the Russian zhaleyka, have no windcap. Since all bagpipes are windcap instruments, you can add all East-European bagpipes to the list, as they all have single reeds in their chanters.
A double reed needs more pressure but less air than a single reed.
The difference in tone is significant - comparable to the difference between clarinet and oboe.
Single reeds are not too difficult to make, but quite difficult to adjust and get them to play a useful scale in a melody pipe.
If you can read German or Czech, bagpipemaker Pavel Cíp has written a booklet about (single) reed making for Czech bagpipes, most of which applies to any single reed of the folk type.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:28 am 
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Quote:
A double reed needs more pressure but less air than a single reed.
The difference in tone is significant - comparable to the difference between clarinet and oboe.
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Single reeds are ... quite difficult to adjust and get them to play a useful scale in a melody pipe.
... Michael, thank you very much for these insights, just the sort of information I was needing to make a decision. I will continue my quest for the "perfect" single reed :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:11 am 
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Kypfer wrote:
I will continue my quest for the "perfect" single reed

Let me know when you've found it - I'm highly interested...


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:15 pm 
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Both the Bulgarian and Macedonian gaida utilize single reeds.

http://www.shopbulgaria.com/bulgarian-f ... -or-d.html

...john


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:52 am 
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Quote:
Both the Bulgarian and Macedonian gaida utilize single reeds.
Quote:
Measures of the reeds for Kaba Gaida in E :
gaidunitsa reed - 7,6 cm/ 3" ;
ruchilo reed - 9,9 cm / 3,9"
... wow, those are significantly bigger than anything I've been trying to make. Another avenue for exploration :)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:10 am 
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The Kaba Gaida is very low in pitch, the chanter, however, is comparatively short. Therefore the reed is designed to produce a low tone, so it has to be fairly long.
Traditionally, these reeds are made from elder. A suitable cane reed for the kaba chanter has to be even longer.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:52 pm 
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You might consider either subscribing to the "eefc.org" list server, or just going to their website and finding the list serve information and searching the archives for additional reed information.

There are a lot of reed-knowledgeable people there.

...john


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:11 pm 
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If it's the different fingering that worries you, maybe you shouldn't worry. Somehow my brain keeps different fingerings all sorted. I can play a simple flute left or right handed.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:29 am 
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mutepointe wrote:
If it's the different fingering that worries you, maybe you shouldn't worry. Somehow my brain keeps different fingerings all sorted. I can play a simple flute left or right handed.


geez... I can't even pick up a tin whistle left handed.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:37 am 
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"Jem the Flute" has posted a couple of videos on You-Tube showing how easy it is to make a single-reed for a pibgorn - http://youtu.be/JQ5v5ymyDuM - if only I could get mine to work that well :-?

I've got some fresh elder drying at the moment, I'll try again in a few weeks.

Thanks, Jem, for the encouragement :)

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