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Free Reed

There are many reed instruments, such as the single-reeds (clarinet and saxophone) and double-reeds (oboe, English horn, and bassoon), which have reeds made from a thin strip of cane. There are also reed pipes in organs that have reeds made from metal. The tones of both types of instruments are produced by a current of air, either from the player’s lungs or from a wind chest, which strikes the reed and causes it to vibrate. However, none of these reeds are free-reeds, as they strike against another object to produce the sound. On the other hand, the free-reeds do not strike against anything while vibrating. The reed is said to be “free” because it has an elastic tongue that vibrates freely within a frame. This is specifically the type of reed that is employed in instruments such as the accordion, concertina, harmonica, harmonium, and the oriental mouth organ.

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