Oboes and bassoons belong to a family of instruments known as double-reed instruments because they use two tiny strips of bamboo cane attached to each other as the mouthpiece to the instrument. Without a reed, we wouldn't recognize the sounds of the instruments at all!
Many professional musicians make their own reeds because they know the kind of sounds they want to produce and they know their instrument better than anyone else. But reed-making is a delicate and time-consuming skill.
TSO Woodwind players spend almost as much time crafting their reeds as they do rehearsing. In fact, Principal Oboe Sarah Jeffrey shared with us that she spent an astonishing 300+ hours perfecting her reed for a recent concert.
Watch this time-lapse video below of how she does it:
Fraser Jackson (Bassoon and Contrabassoon) shares his woodworking skills too:
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