The Arundo Donax is a humble but versatile plant. The writing implement – the reed quill was used in ancient days, before the feather quill, for writing, and is still used in instances where softness, flexibility and humility are required.
(Chazal (the sages of the time 200 BCE to 600 CE) say that, to write a Sefer Torah
(a handwritten copy of the five first books of the Bible),
one must not use a quill from a cedar tree that stands tall and arrogant,
rather a quill from a reed which is soft, flexible and humble.)
It is also used for the reeds of musical instruments, hence the title of this piece.
The word for this reed and for this reed quill pen crosses the boundaries of Semitic and Indo-European:
the Latin Calamus, the Greek kalamos, the Arabic qalam, the Hebrew Kulmus, the Swahili kalamu all go back to the Arundo Donax plant and the reed pen from which it is made.