Of course, mouthpieces wear off, slowly but surely. The specific manner a mouthpiece is battered by the reed makes it wear away in places and in this way the behaviour of the reed shows itself. Here we interest ourselves in the particular way in which this happens.

Now what does this wear look like under a magnifying glass? It is to be seen most easily in silver plated mouthpieces: the brass shows through, but ebonite mouthpieces show similar marks although in a slightly different way. Ebonite mouthpieces namely show a high gloss on the spots of wear and get dirty with a calcified sediment in the non-battered spots.

We find wear along the inside of the rails up to a length of about 3½ centimeter from the tip (for alto). Marks of wear can often be traced down to where the facing has already ended. Yet, in the first half up to three quarters of a centimeter no sign of wear is to be found. The tip rail only shows a very fine line-like stain on its inside, where it meets the baffle, but not right into its corners. It all looks more or less like the red colouring in the drawing below. Study reveals that no wear is to be found at the rear end of the window.

three conclusions

two considerations