This is a remake of BDP#2.

If you have not taken a look at the first video about reed finishing, I encouraged to do so. There are several concepts here I will be assuming
that you understand.

This video here is essential for your understanding of the pedagogy I am putting forth for reed finishing. You may need to refer to this video several times.

Again I encourage you to visit, or look at my article, or go to The number “2” for 2reed. Look up the article on the “Pedagogy of Bassoon Reed Finishing” that I have supplied.

An important part of this concept is the idea of counterpoises. I have given here the definition of counterpoise. It is a force or influence that balances or equally counteracts another.

You will see in a moment or two that I use these concepts of specialty reed types as counterpoises for the way in which you can make reeds.

Here for example are the three reed type counterpoises. These are the three specialty reed types. We have one counterpoise that is the "High Note" reed. Another counterpoise is this "Low Note/Quiet" reed. The third is this "Concerto/loud" reed.

We see that the normal reed is in the middle of this and in fact draws on various features from all three reed types. So you might want to think of each of the specialty reeds as being an extreme.

If we had, for instance, just two counterpoises then we would have a continuum. Normal might be in this area and you travel towards high note or low note on this continuum. 

As you move toward "Low Note" you would borrow from concepts that create a low note or quiet reed. But I have in my idea of reed making actually three counterpoises or three reed types.

So this drawing best illustrate the concepts. So let's address the reed types.

The normal read type,--that is the one that we found in the center of the different types of counterpoises--the normal reed type is the best possible compromise of the three specially reed types.

It features stable intonation, a pleasing tone, and good articulation in all of the registers, but maybe not as well as some of the reed types. For instance, the high note reed may articulate better in the high register than the normal reed type. The low note reed may articulate better in the low register the normal reed type. So it's still a compromise.

It features flexible dynamic contrasts. And it features points of inflection. That was a term we introduced in our last video of the series.

The specialty reed types, features the three: high note, low note... (I might add that this quiet reed type is one that I use when I play continuo. This is where you want very subtle playing that perhaps joins a cello or another continuo instrument; you are able to play very quietly with a great tone. But generally you don't play much above a mezzo-forte dynamic in some of these continuo parts so you would emphasize that particular reed type.)

...and the concerto or loud reed, which is one that you would play a concerto with, hence the title.

Let's look at some of the features of these three specialty reed types. The high note read type in general features a narrower shape, either or
both in the blade itself or in the throat measurements as well--the tube. It has a shorter blade, rounded first and second wires, a greater heart to wins ratio, (Again review the first video for the location of the heart and wings) a greater spine to rail ratio, points of inflection,
and a parallel scrape. This is again an example I introduced in the last video with extreme examples of the parallel scrape where generally from the heart area on back where we have the same thickness to the blade or the sloped or pyramid scrape where you have a sloping through most of the reed blade.

The low note, quiet, or continuo reed features in general a wider shape (especially in the blade), a longer blade, flattened first and second wires, lesser heart to wings ratio, lesser spine to rails ratio with a thinner spine (that is going to be important for us to consider as well), a thinner tip, and often a sloping scrape. This seems to emphasize this reed a bit more.

Our third type is the concerto or loud reed. This generally has a wider shape (particularly in the throat), features no points inflection or some slight inflections at the wings, a lesser spine to rails ratio with thicker rails and actually thicker spine as well, and a larger aperture height and width.

Now let's just further explore this concerto or loud reed.

In order to play loud on the bassoon it's a function not only of the amount of surface area you have vibrating on the reed, but also amount of air you can blow through the reed. So for this reason the concerto reed in general has a higher aperture height and aperture width through all of its articulation. That allows for greater air flow through the reed. That is also the reason for the wider throat shape. This can also help will reed to be louder. Again you have the ability to put more air through the reed.

Now I have to give a caveat here. Not all specialty reed types will have every feature listed. They will draw upon many of the characteristics as components to achieve the desired results. But that doesn't mean that all
these characteristics will be present. Think of these characteristics as a bit like the ingredients in a stew. More of one ingredient should be added if another ingredient is taken away or even omitted. This is sort of a recipe for playing. You might have a high note reed in which one player might find it preferable instead of having a narrow blade, for instance, instead to have a shorter blade. 

Now let's try to understand the relationship between points of inflection and the reed types. I have mentioned that for instance, that the concerto reed does not have these points of inflection as much. You do tend to find these in the high note and often even in the low note reed.

Reeds with points of inflection allow for multiple reed apertures. This is due to the spring like action of the reed. The spring like action permits the performer to select varying reed apertures as is illustrated here. So you can make a choice of having a very open aperture to having an aperture that is very small and everything in between. Since the apertures change the vibration surface, it is almost as if you are changing the size of the reed. That's why it's very helpful to have the smallest reed possible for the highest register. That's why the illustration here in 3 shows a lesser vibration area--this white area would be vibrating. This would be closed off with more embouchure pressure shown here in number 3.

Conversely you have a greater vibration area with a very relaxed embouchure. Only the very blackest areas here are dampening vibration.
The rest of this would be vibrating. That would favor of course a lower register, a louder reed, and those sorts of issues as well.

<Music: Hummel, Bassoon Concerto, I, Terry B. Ewell, bassoon, and Peter Amstutz, fortepiano, Oct. 1997, Kent University.>