2aMU3. ``Reed all about it:'' The giant grass that provides reed cane for musical instruments.

Session: Tuesday Morning, May 14

Time: 9:00

Author: Marcus Eley
Location: Rico Intl., 8484 San Fernando Rd., Sun Valley, CA 91352


Cane reeds for musical instruments are made from the stalks of arundo donax, a giant grass. Although arundo donax grows wild througout the world only certain conditions of soil and climate will produce cane that is suitable for music making. The controlled conditions of plantation growth, as in the plantation system used by Rico International, are proving to be successful in growing cane that is more consistently of high quality. Nurturing and careful harvesting bring the mature stalks to the stage where they can be carefully sun-dried in racks for many months and finally cut, between nodes, into tubes. The cane tubes are then shipped to Sun Valley for the manufacture of musical instrument reeds, a process that involves special tooling and unique manufacturing techniques.

from ASA 131st Meeting, Indianapolis, May 1996