Reeds & Reedmaking for the Modern Bassoon

Rick Yoder, Proprietor

Currently Available Models

I currently have three models of reeds in regular production:

Model K is based on reeds made by Wilhelm Knochenhauer (Dresden 1872-1940). My Model K is narrower than most original Knochenhauers, in the modern American style.

Model B is based on reeds made by Hans Bär, principal bassoonist of the Bamberg (Germany) Symphony from 1946-1978. Herr Bär supplied reeds in the 1970’s and 80’s to several prominent bassoonists in Europe and the US. His reeds had much in common with those of Carl Mechler (1873-1945) of Darmstadt.

Model L is based on reeds made by Kurt Ludwig, who lived in Bavaria in the mid-20th century. Ludwig’s reeds were very popular in England. Ludwig's reeds were often “brevis” models; the distance from the butt to the collar is shorter than on other models.

To order any of these, follow the instructions at the Buy Reeds page.

I use cane from a variety of sources, including Alliaud Roseaux, Ovidio Danzi, Donati, Ghys, and others, as well as a small amount of cane that I harvest personally from a small private growth in southern France.

Other Models

Machines for making bassoon reeds

The models currently in my regular production are a small part of my large repertoire of reed models, based on my many happy years studying with Lou Skinner and on my own further experiments.

Lou’s reed models varied in a number of ways, combining the following factors:
* Shape – variations in width, flare, and hybrid configurations in tube and blade regions;
* Gouge – variations in thickness, side-to-side taper, and hand-scraped enhancements, including internal linear taper;
* Tube – variations in forming-mandrel configurations, wire placement, “throat” height, and other factors; and
* Trim – variations in linear and lateral profile.

Based on a functional analysis of the interactions of these various factors, Lou developed dozens of basic reed models, and countless variations on each. Some of these he gave names. Often the names merely described simple lateral gouge variations, such as the Short Gouge, the Long Gouge, or the Inverted Gouge, or more complex fanciful internal enhancements, such as the Flat Flute (also known as the Opera Model) or the Concentric Flute. Others were named for places, such as the Windsor Mill, named after the road in suburban Maryland where Lou lived while he was playing in the Baltimore Symphony; or for music that Lou thought was particularly suited to the model, such as the Vivaldi. Still others were named for the techniques used to make them, such as the Around-the-Bahn and the Full- and Half-Sandboard Models. Others were named for the makers who developed them, such as the Knochenhauer. And some were named for the cities where the makers lived, such as the Darmstadt (Karl Mechler) or the Munich (Wieschert, later Ludwig).

More information about famous makers is listed at the History page. Further information about reedmaking is available at the Theory & Techniques page.