Oboe reviews, articles, and tips for beginners and beyond
In this series...
The Oboe originated in France in the 17th century. Its predecessors include the Reed Flute, and the Shawm-an.
Early Oboes only had two or three keys, but by the 19th century this had increased to many more.
The Oboe was first used in orchestras in the middle of the 17th century, and quickly became an integral part of a standard orchestral line-up.
A standard Oboe is roughly 65cm long and is made of wood. Some less expensive models are made from plastic.
The main parts are the bore (a small hole at the top of the instrument), the upper joint (containing half of the keys), and the bottom joint (containing the other half of the keys).
A double wooden reed is inserted into the bore before playing the instrument.
The standard written range of an Oboe is from Bb3 to G6, spanning nearly three octaves.
How To Play
To play a note on the Oboe you need to:
- put the double reed between your lips and blow
- ensure your lips are completely sealed….
- and that your teeth are not touching the reed.
Oboe players place a finger on each of the instrument’s keys, and the note that’s produced depends on which of these keys are open and closed.
The Oboe is the instrument responsible for giving a tuning note to the rest of the orchestra at the start of a concert.
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