Capped double reed instruments

Post Reply
Ben Sanders
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:16 pm

Capped double reed instruments

Post by Ben Sanders »


I am looking for information around making capped double-reed instruments. Last year I 3d printed a cornamuse (someone else's design) and hand-made a plastic reed, and that turned out well. Right now I'm got a contrabass reed and am experimenting with making something that I could use with it. I was starting out printing a bit that I could use with some pvc pipe, but I had a question about the cap itself. How much do the dimensions of it matter? And for experimenting, does the size of the part I'm blowing into matter? It seems to me that it would be the pressure inside the cap that matters, but I could be completely wrong.

Thanks for any help!

User avatar
Charlie Schultz
Site Admin
Posts: 1387
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:53 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Capped double reed instruments

Post by Charlie Schultz »

I can't help you with your questions (sorry) but I would like to know more about the cornamuse- can you share the design and what kind of 3d printer you used?

Bob Francis
Posts: 568
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:28 pm

Re: Capped double reed instruments

Post by Bob Francis »

Yes please do!

User avatar
Jim McConkey
Posts: 976
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:00 pm
Location: Way north of Baltimore, MD

Re: Capped double reed instruments

Post by Jim McConkey »

I'm no expert on these old woodwinds, but since the free end reed is contained inside the cap, I wouldn't think the cap dimensions will make that much difference. In general, only the bore dimensions from the reed to the open end matter for pitch, etc. You might want to think about a replaceable cap design, where you can experiment with different heights and blow hole sizes.
MIMForum Staff - Way North of Baltimore

Clay Schaeffer
Posts: 1629
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: Capped double reed instruments

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

I would agree with Jim McConkey that the cap dimensions are probably not critical so long as the reed has the necessary clearance to vibrate. In Trevor Robinson's book "The Amateur Wind Instrument Maker" he shows designs for three krumhorns - Tenor, Alto, Soprano, and although they have different size reeds, he mentions that the same size wind cap is used for all three. A bassoon reed can be modified for use with the tenor krumhorn.
The cornamuse is essentially an unbent version of a krumhorn.

Post Reply

Return to “Wind, Percussion, and Miscellaneous and Experimental Instruments”