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Bamboo: A promising future and a rich, musical past.


Bamboo has been a big topic surrounding the subject of sustainability, as it is strong enough for building, and grows quickly enough for it to be easily sustained. Not only is its growing cycle relatively fast, but bamboo grows back, which eliminates the need to reseed and water young plants. Therefore, bamboo may be a large part of the future, but it also has a rich past. The bamboo of the future may be what holds a roof over your head, even in highly-developed countries. However, the bamboo of the past and present serves no less noble of a purpose. One of those purposes has developed in the music arena where bamboo has been available for multiple types of wind instruments.

1. Clarinets

Bamboo clarinets typically have a synthetic mouthpiece, but they do have ten finger holes to enable users to play the scales. Clarinets in general have been made of many materials including rubber and ivory, but bamboo gives the clarinetist a unique and fun experience.

2. Didgeridoos

Didgeridoos were made by Australian aborigines who would find eucalyptus logs that had been carved hollow by termites, and they would turn it into a wind instrument. Now that they are well-known to all areas of the world, they are made out of practically any type hollow material including PVC pipe. Bamboo gives uniqueness to the appearance of the didgeridoo, and it is less expensive than some options while still maintaining the unique, deep sound of the instrument.

3. Flutes

Bamboo flutes have the longest history of the 4 bamboo instruments on human record dating back to Ancient China. While these flutes were possibly more primitive than they are today, the rich history of bamboo flutes has played a large role in ceremonies and traditions throughout civilization. Today’s bamboo flutes create the peaceful tones of traditional flutes but in a much more primitive fashion.

4. Saxophones

Traditional brass saxophones have been around since the mid-19th century. In the 20th century, bamboo saxophones were made by residents of multiple areas including Hawaii, Thailand, Ethiopia, and Indonesia. These saxophones were smaller and much less expensive than their brass counterparts, but their sound is phenomenal. Musicians do note that they are not the same instrument as a traditional sax and should be considered completely separate.

If you are looking for an affordable but rich instrument full of pure sound soul, a bamboo instrument is perfect to meet your needs. They are easily personalized through carvings, and in some cases, their small size makes them easier to play. They are not perfect replacements for traditional wind instruments, but they are completely different instruments capable of making incredible sound. 

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