Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music

First Advisor

Joseph Eller


Reed players know the favorable sound of their cane does not last. Furthermore, students and educators who lack the reed pedagogy necessary to achieve any longevity and consistency suffer financially. In this study, a hydro-stabilization methodology is tested to analyze the systematic compression of parenchymatic cells within clarinet reeds. By compressing the parenchymatic cells of the cane, this project proposes that saliva will saturate the reed at ineffective/inefficient rates compared to fresh, non-stabilized reeds. 1,836 data points, collected from 17 reeds, comprised the overall study; 324 data points, collected from three reeds, represented the control group; and the remaining 1,512 data points, collected from 14 reeds, underwent a process where reeds were recursively soaked and allowed to dry in one-hour periods of time. Once all reeds had completed the process, every reed was cut into three equal sections and microtomed. Reed shavings were put on a glass slide for light microscopy. The 1,836 data points, collected from the tip, midsection, and stock of each reed, were logged into IBM’s SPSS Statistics Processor and subjected to Descriptive, Pearson Correlation, and Paired Samples T-Tests. The mean circumference of analyzed parenchyma cells shrank with each successive soak/dry cycle, thus increasing the reed’s hydrophobic qualities. All results were statistically significant. Overall, this project showed that hydro-stabilization enhances the reed strength’s play-toplay consistency, lengthens the reed’s tonal favorability, and will decrease the amount of money a musician spends on reeds every year.