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Cigar box containing spare bagpipe reeds

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Cigar box containing spare bagpipe reeds
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Cigar box containing bagpipe practice chanter reeds and drone reeds. Bagpipe reeds have always been kept in a small box which the piper can fit into his bagpipe carrying case.

A strong type of cane, Arundo Donax, both farmed and naturally grown, is favoured for making reeds for bagpipes as well as for other musical wind instruments. The drone reed, a so-called 'single reed', uses the whole body of the cane. The same cane is also cut into thin blades to make into chanter reeds, the so-called 'double reed'.

The cane is cut into lengths, longer lengths and larger bodied cane supplying bass drone reeds, one end is blocked off at a natural division within the cane; the 'blade' is cut horizontally and this produces a 'tongue' which vibrates freely in the flow of air from the bag into the drones. The cane reed is 'seated' in the bottom end of the drone.

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