Topic: Testing Methods for Bassoon Cane Hardness/Density

To All,
How does one measure bassoon cane's hardness/density without one of the gadgets?  I have had recommendations to drop the dry gouged cane into a glass of water, watching how far up the cane "bounces" after the intial drop.  However, I am not sure what the results indicate.  If the cane bounces back up a lot, is it harder that one that does not come back up as much?  It could also be the reverse, but I am not sure.  Any tips or even alternate testing methods would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks, Sarah.

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Re: Testing Methods for Bassoon Cane Hardness/Density

Hi Sarah,

This is not a testing method but Justin Miller has a fairly comprehensive chart on his web site (www.millermarketingco.com) that gives the relative hardness of many of the more popular canes. I have found this useful when purchasing cane since it gives me an average level of expectation of how hard a particular grower's cane is compared to those I use regularly.

Gene Carter, Owner
Linden Reeds

Re: Testing Methods for Bassoon Cane Hardness/Density

Hi Sarah:
I have one of the hardness testers which I like a lot but before this I got pretty good at determining how hard cane is just by twisting it.  Once you have done this enough you will be able to eliminate the softest and hardest pieces quite easily.  Also, when you soak the cane the denser pieces will sink first.  The ones that stay floating for a long time are softer.  And, of course, once you start profiling or shaping the cane you can tell how soft/hard it is just by the way your knife cuts through the cane.  You can also take your fingernail and see how easily you can put a mark in it.  There are probably other ways that others can add.  I have never used them.  I wonder if harder cane sounds different when you tap it smile --probably difficult to hear the difference.  Take care, Kent

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Testing Methods for Bassoon Cane Hardness/Density

I wrote a fairly extensive article about this for the Double Reed, Volume 24, No. 4, 2001.  I think you can easily access it by clicking on this link:  http://www.idrs.org/publications/dr/dr24.4.pdf/Testing%20the%20Density.pdf

You may have to hold down "CTRL" while clicking on the link.  If it doesn't work, let me know and I'll e-mail the link to you by private e-mail, or even send you a printed copy of the article.

Ed Lacy
University of Evansville

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Re: Testing Methods for Bassoon Cane Hardness/Density

New link:
Edwin V. Lacy | Testing the density or specific gravity of bassoon cane (The Double Reed Vol. 24, No. 4, 2001)

See also:
John W. Reid | Cane selectivity from the field to the gouger (Double Reed Journal No. 11, 1983)
L. Hugh Cooper | Reed making notes: Selection of gouged cane (The Double Reed Journal No. 19, 1991)

Federico Sardi
Principal bassoon - Orquesta Filarmónica de Montevideo
Bassoonist - Orquesta Sinfónica del SODRE
Studying with Prof. Ole K. Dahl

Re: Testing Methods for Bassoon Cane Hardness/Density

Has anyone got current links that work to the above? I am very interested to see this.

"If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not believe in trying to say it in music."
Gustav Mahler 1860-1911

http://www.tomhardybassoon.com

Re: Testing Methods for Bassoon Cane Hardness/Density

Edwin V. Lacy | Testing the density or specific gravity of bassoon cane
(The Double Reed Vol. 24, No. 4, 2001)

John W. Reid | Cane selectivity from the field to the gouger
(Double Reed Journal No. 11, 1983)

L. Hugh Cooper | Reed making notes: SelectioAnanda preparation of gouged cane
(Double Reed Journal No. 19, 1991)

Federico Sardi
Principal bassoon - Orquesta Filarmónica de Montevideo
Bassoonist - Orquesta Sinfónica del SODRE
Studying with Prof. Ole K. Dahl