Topic: Baroque Bassoon Reeds

Hi all
I am doing some baroque bassooning again soon and have for years been experimenting with (and being frustrated by) reeds and finally got around to posting questions on this forum.
I am playing on a Stanesby Junior by Philip Levin and own a Rieger B5 shaper and using GP cane from Rieger.

A couple of questions:
1 Is the B5 a compatible shape for this instrument?
2 Are there some good "starting point" or general micrometer blade measurements I can rely on?

Mike Roemhildt


Re: Baroque Bassoon Reeds

I don't have any direct experience with the Phil Levin Stanesby, but in general I would say that at 17mm wide, the B5 tip is a bit too narrow. Why don't you start by trying the B3 tip (HKICW), the one that a lot of people use?

As for 'micrometer blade measurements', if you use 136mm profiled Rieger baroque cane, you don't have to worry about trying to hit a bunch of thicknesses. It has a pretty good profile to start with.

Christopher Brodersen
Maker of Historical Keyboard Instruments
Reviewer/contributor - Fanfare Magazine
Amateur bassoonist, baroque oboist, baroque bassoonist

Re: Baroque Bassoon Reeds

Hello Mike,

any progress on your baroque reeds? I obtained a Stanesby Junior by Levin recently. Made some reeds from Medir cane for baroque bassoon and Rieger B2; a2 and in particular b2 flat are very unstable. I could improve by removing most of the "buzzyness", but this is not the sound I want.
My best reeds until now I made without a micrometer, only scraping (1) the back for lows, (2) making the tip gradually thinner and (3) the rails to make the higher note speak. I use sandpaper between the blades to make the sound less "buzzy".

I now did order a B5 shaper in the hope it will produce better reeds.

Bert van Leeuwen