Oboe Facts

Oboe Facts
The oboe is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. It is classified as a double reed woodwind instrument. The oboe was first referred to as an hautbois when it appeared in the 1600s. It spread quickly throughout Europe and was known by a variety of names including howboye, hautboit, hoboy, and hautboy. Until the clarinet was invented it was the military band's main instrument. The body of the oboe has three main parts, including the bell, lower joint, and upper joint. From the 1800s on the oboe has served as the tuning note in an orchestra.
Interesting Oboe Facts:
The oboe was not invented until the 1600s but it is believed to have been descended from the shawm - an instrument that dates back to 2800 BC.
The oboe has three main body parts including the bell, lower joint, and upper joint, plus its other parts which include the double reed, key, rods, fingerhole, and pad.
Oboes are commonly made from wood such as boxwood, vulcanite, rosewood, or granadilla.
The mouthpiece of the oboe is a double reed with the reeds positioned close together.
The French oboe's bell is slightly flared while the bell of the Viennese oboe has a bell shape to it.
The Viennese oboe is shorter and thicker than the French Oboe and widens at the joints.
Viennese oboe players use a fingering method referred to as 'long fingerings' while French oboe players use a fingering method referred to as 'short fingerings'.
The oboe does not have a mouthpiece like the clarinet. It has two reeds tied together.
A musician who plays the oboe can be referred to as an 'oboe player' or an 'oboist'.
Oboes are commonly found in orchestras, chamber music, concert bands, folk music, jazz, pop, rock, and in film scores.
To play the obo the oboist places the double reed between their lips and they blow. The reeds vibrate and open and close quickly which send energy into the air column. The oboist plays the keys and holes to produce different pitches.
The sound of the oboe has been described as bright, full, powerful, reedy, clear, and penetrating.
The oboe plays well with the flute, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, horn, violin, viola, and the cello.
Instruments in the oboe family include the piccolo oboe, regular oboe, oboe d'amore, cor anglais, bass oboe, and heckelphone.
It is not uncommon for professional oboe players to make their own reeds. Reeds come in a variety of levels of hardness.
The oboe is much more complicated to play than the flute.
In a modern woodwind section of an orchestra there are usually three oboists - two playing the oboe and one playing the English horn.
Major composers that wrote pieces for the oboe include Handel, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Wagner, Strauss, Martinu, Schumann, and Stravinsky.
Famous works that included the oboe include Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg concertos 1 and 2, Madeleine Dring's Trio for oboe, flute and piano, Harrison Birtwistle's Pulse Sampler, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Oboe Concerto in C major.

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