Category Archives: Reeds

Phragmites australis vs Arundo donax

So far as I am aware, no aulos player today uses reeds made of Common Reed, Phragmites australis. We all use Giant Reed, Arundo donax. The reason is simple: the doublepipe revival began in a cultural environment that only esteemed Arundo. … Continue reading

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Hichiriki reeds

by Jean Jeltsch, Robin Howell and Barnaby Brown This Japanese hichiriki reed was photographed by the bassoon reed researcher Jean-Marie Heinrich in the 1980s. It bears a striking resemblance to an aulos reed acquired by the Berlin Egyptian Museum in 1894: … Continue reading

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Making reed caps 1

A very exciting package arrived 10 days ago from Robin Howell in Toronto – just before we left for a family holiday in Cornwall. Here are two videos kindly made by my 10-year-old son Sebastian, documenting my holiday project: a … Continue reading

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Libation tune

After a lot of Louvre and Pompeii on this site, here’s a move towards the Archaic and Classical period: the Dorian aulos I have recontructed from textual evidence in my Ancient Greek Music: A New Technical History, playing the intervals … Continue reading

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Toasting and preservation of Aulos reeds

Idioglot double reeds (tubular reeds) have a natural tendency to return to their open, round condition when wet, making them harder to play. I find that ‘toasting’ the reed helps to maintain a closed tip. This is done as a … Continue reading

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Further thoughts on reed making

This tool makes short work of cutting tubes in batches, all the same length. The end stop is adjustable because the length of reed varies from aulos to aulos. After cutting the tubes, I now use a sharp scalpel blade … Continue reading

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More thoughts on reed making

This is the second instalment of Callum Armstrong’s reed-making journey — the first is here.  We made these notes and photos before a London Aulos Group meeting on 6 January 2015. This photo shows three different causes of cracking. Here are our suggested solutions: … Continue reading

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My first aulos reeds

Barnaby Brown invited me to join the aulos revival when we performed together in London last month. These notes build on what Barnaby learned from Stefan Hagel at reed-making workshops held earlier this year in London and Tarquinia. 1. Cut … Continue reading

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The Reeds: Observations Based on Ancient Evidence

Below you will find Barnaby Brown’s six observations regarding ancient reeds based on (1) the iconographic evidence which I present in a forthcoming article, and (2) a text by Theophrastus (c. 371 – c. 287 BC). Following each observation is some … Continue reading

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Some reeds without a bridle

Here are the results of my latest attempts at aulos reed making. The idea is to learn how to do without the wire bridle that has always been so useful for adjusting the opening. So far none of these is sufficiently easy-going, but … Continue reading

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