Oboe

Oboe

Overview
The oboe (ˈoʊboʊ) is a double reed
Double reed
A double reed is a type of reed used to produce sound in various wind instruments. The term double reed comes from the fact that there are two pieces of cane vibrating against each other. A single reed consists of one piece of cane which vibrates against a mouthpiece made of metal, hardened...

 musical instrument
Musical instrument
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the...

 of the woodwind family. In English, prior to 1770, the instrument was called "hautbois" (French, meaning "high wood"), "hoboy", or "French hoboy". The spelling "oboe" was adopted into English ca. 1770 from the Italian oboè, a transliteration in that language's orthography of the 17th-century pronunciation of the French word hautbois, a compound word made of haut ("high, loud") and bois ("wood, woodwind").
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Encyclopedia
The oboe (ˈoʊboʊ) is a double reed
Double reed
A double reed is a type of reed used to produce sound in various wind instruments. The term double reed comes from the fact that there are two pieces of cane vibrating against each other. A single reed consists of one piece of cane which vibrates against a mouthpiece made of metal, hardened...

 musical instrument
Musical instrument
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the...

 of the woodwind family. In English, prior to 1770, the instrument was called "hautbois" (French, meaning "high wood"), "hoboy", or "French hoboy". The spelling "oboe" was adopted into English ca. 1770 from the Italian oboè, a transliteration in that language's orthography of the 17th-century pronunciation of the French word hautbois, a compound word made of haut ("high, loud") and bois ("wood, woodwind"). A musician who plays the oboe is called an oboist
Oboist
An oboist is a musician who plays the oboe or any oboe family instrument, including the cor anglais, oboe d'amore, shawm and oboe musette....

.

Sound


In comparison to other modern woodwind instruments, the oboe has a clear and penetrating voice. The Sprightly Companion, an instruction book published by Henry Playford
Henry Playford
Henry Playford was an English music publisher, the younger son and only known surviving child of John Playford, with whom he entered business. He lived in Arundel Street in London and had a shop near Temple Church 1685–1695 then in Temple Change 1695–1704 and finally in Middle Temple Gate in 1706...

 in 1695, describes the oboe as "Majestical and Stately, and not much Inferior to the Trumpet." More humorously, the voice is described in the play Angels in America
Angels in America
Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes is the 1993 Pulitzer Prize winning play in two parts by American playwright Tony Kushner. It has been made into both a television miniseries and an opera by Peter Eötvös.-Characters:...

as sounding like that of a duck if the duck were a songbird. The timbre
Timbre
In music, timbre is the quality of a musical note or sound or tone that distinguishes different types of sound production, such as voices and musical instruments, such as string instruments, wind instruments, and percussion instruments. The physical characteristics of sound that determine the...

 of the oboe is derived from the oboe's conical bore
Bore (wind instruments)
The bore of a wind instrument is its interior chamber that defines a flow path through which air travels and is set into vibration to produce sounds. The shape of the bore has a strong influence on the instruments' timbre.-Bore shapes:...

 (as opposed to the generally cylindrical bore of flute
Flute
The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening...

s and clarinet
Clarinet
The clarinet is a musical instrument of woodwind type. The name derives from adding the suffix -et to the Italian word clarino , as the first clarinets had a strident tone similar to that of a trumpet. The instrument has an approximately cylindrical bore, and uses a single reed...

s). As a result, oboes are readily audible over other instruments in large ensembles.

The oboe is pitched in concert C and has a soprano range. Orchestra
Orchestra
An orchestra is a sizable instrumental ensemble that contains sections of string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The term orchestra derives from the Greek ορχήστρα, the name for the area in front of an ancient Greek stage reserved for the Greek chorus...

s frequently tune to a concert A (usually A440) played by the oboe. According to the League of American Orchestras, this is done because the pitch of the oboe is secure and its penetrating sound makes it ideal for tuning purposes. The pitch of the oboe is affected by the way in which the reed is made. The reed has a significant effect on the sound of the instrument. Variations in cane and other construction materials, the age of the reed, and differences in scrape and length will all affect the pitch of the instrument. German and French reeds, for instance, differ in many ways, causing the sound of the oboe to vary accordingly. Weather conditions such as temperature and humidity will also affect the pitch. Skilled oboists adjust their embouchure to compensate for these factors. Subtle manipulation of embouchure
Embouchure
The embouchure is the use of facial muscles and the shaping of the lips to the mouthpiece of woodwind instruments or the mouthpiece of the brass instruments.The word is of French origin and is related to the root bouche , 'mouth'....

 and air pressure allows the player to express timbre
Timbre
In music, timbre is the quality of a musical note or sound or tone that distinguishes different types of sound production, such as voices and musical instruments, such as string instruments, wind instruments, and percussion instruments. The physical characteristics of sound that determine the...

 and dynamics.

Baroque



The baroque oboe first appeared in the mid-17th century, when it was called hautbois. This name was also used for its predecessor, the shawm
Shawm
The shawm was a medieval and Renaissance musical instrument of the woodwind family made in Europe from the 12th century until the 17th century. It was developed from the oriental zurna and is the predecessor of the modern oboe. The body of the shawm was usually turned from a single piece of wood,...

, from which the basic form of the hautbois was derived. Major differences between the two instruments include the division of the hautbois into three sections, or joints (which allowed for more precise manufacture), the elimination of the pirouette, the wooden ledge below the reed which allowed players to rest their lips, and the wind-cap, a cap placed over the reed that enabled shawm players to produce greater volume. The latter development, more than any other, was responsible for bringing the hautbois indoors where, due to its more refined sound and style of playing, it took up a permanent place in the orchestra.

The exact date and place of origin of the hautbois are obscure, as are the individuals who were responsible. Circumstantial evidence, such as the statement by Michel de la Barre in his Memoire, points to members of the Philidor
Philidor
Philidor or Danican Philidor was a family of musicians that served as court musicians to the French kings. The original name of the family was Danican and was of Scottish origin...

 (Filidor) and Hotteterre families. The instrument may in fact have had multiple inventors. The hautbois quickly spread throughout Europe, including England, where it was called "hautboy", "hoboy", "hautboit", "howboye", and similar variants of the French name. It was the main melody instrument in early military bands, until it was succeeded by the clarinet
Clarinet
The clarinet is a musical instrument of woodwind type. The name derives from adding the suffix -et to the Italian word clarino , as the first clarinets had a strident tone similar to that of a trumpet. The instrument has an approximately cylindrical bore, and uses a single reed...

.

The baroque oboe was generally made of boxwood and had three keys
Key (instrument)
A key is a specific part of a musical instrument. The purpose and function of the part in question depends on the instrument.On instruments equipped with tuning machines, violins and guitars, for example, a key is part of a tuning machine. It is a worm gear with a key shaped end used to turn a cog,...

: a "great" key and two side keys (The side key was often doubled to facilitate use of either the right or left hand on the bottom holes). In order to produce higher pitches, the player had to "overblow", or increase the air stream to reach the next harmonic. Notable oboe-makers of the period are the German Denner
Jacob Denner
Jacob Denner was a woodwind instrument maker of Nuremberg.He was the son of Johann Christoph Denner, improver of the chalumeau and inventor of the clarinet.-External links:*...

 and Eichentopf, and the English Stanesby Sr. and Jr. The range for the baroque oboe comfortably extends from C4 to D6
Scientific pitch notation
Scientific pitch notation is one of several methods that name the notes of the standard Western chromatic scale by combining a letter-name, accidentals, and a number identifying the pitch's octave...

. With the resurgence of interest in early music
Early music
Early music is generally understood as comprising all music from the earliest times up to the Renaissance. However, today this term has come to include "any music for which a historically appropriate style of performance must be reconstructed on the basis of surviving scores, treatises,...

 in the mid 20th century, a few makers began producing copies to specifications from surviving historical instruments.


Classical


The classical period brought an oboe whose bore was gradually narrowed, and the instrument became outfitted with several keys, among them were those for the notes D♯, F, and G♯. A key similar to the modern octave key was also added called the "slur key", though it was at first used more like the "flick" keys on the modern German bassoon
Bassoon
The bassoon is a woodwind instrument in the double reed family that typically plays music written in the bass and tenor registers, and occasionally higher. Appearing in its modern form in the 19th century, the bassoon figures prominently in orchestral, concert band and chamber music literature...

. Only later did French instrument makers redesign the octave key to be used in the manner of the modern key (i.e. held open for the upper register, closed for the lower). The narrower bore allowed the higher notes to be more easily played, and composers began to more often utilize the oboe's upper register in their works. Because of this, the oboe's tessitura
Tessitura
In music, the term tessitura generally describes the most musically acceptable and comfortable range for a given singer or, less frequently, musical instrument; the range in which a given type of voice presents its best-sounding texture or timbre...

 in the Classical era was somewhat broader than that found in baroque works. The range for the Classical oboe extends from C4 to F6 (using the scientific pitch notation
Scientific pitch notation
Scientific pitch notation is one of several methods that name the notes of the standard Western chromatic scale by combining a letter-name, accidentals, and a number identifying the pitch's octave...

 system), though some German and Austrian oboes were capable of playing one half-step lower. Classical-era composers who wrote concertos for oboe include Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

 (both the solo concerto in C major K. 314/285d and the lost original of Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat major K. 297b, as well as a fragment of F major concerto K. 417f), Haydn, (both the Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat Hob. I:105 and the spurious concerto in C major Hob. VIIg:C1), Beethoven (the F major concerto, Hess 12, of which only sketches survive, though the second movement was reconstructed in the late twentieth century), and numerous other composers including Johann Christian Bach
Johann Christian Bach
Johann Christian Bach was a composer of the Classical era, the eleventh and youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach. He is sometimes referred to as 'the London Bach' or 'the English Bach', due to his time spent living in the British capital...

, Johann Christian Fischer, Jan Antonín Koželuh
Jan Antonín Koželuh
Jan Antonín Koželuh was a renowned Bohemian composer from Velvary. He was a pupil of Josef Seger. He studied in Vienna and was a concert master in St. Vitus Cathedral for thirty years; his work includes both church and concert works...

, and Ludwig August Lebrun
Ludwig August Lebrun
Ludwig August Lebrun was a German oboist and composer.-Life:Lebrun was born in Mannheim. The well-known and celebrated oboe virtuoso played with the orchestra at the court of the Prince-Elector Carl Theodor in Mannheim...

. Many solos exist for the oboe in chamber, symphonic, and operatic compositions from the Classical era.

Viennese or Wiener oboe


In Vienna, a type of modern oboe has been preserved to the present day that retains the essential bore and tonal characteristics of the historical oboe. The Akademiemodel Wiener Oboe
Wiener Oboe
In Vienna , a type of modern oboe has been preserved to the present day that retains the essential bore and tonal characteristics of the historical oboe. The Akademiemodel Wiener oboe, first developed in the 1880s by Josef Hajek, is the only modern oboe to withstand the monopoly of the...

, first developed in the late 19th century by Josef Hajek from earlier instruments by C. T. Golde of Dresden (1803–73), is now made by several makers such as André Constantinides, Karl Rado, Guntram Wolf
Guntram Wolf
Guntram Wolf is a maker of modern and historical woodwind instruments in Kronach, Germany.-His productions:He specializes in the modern Heckel system bassoon and is one of the better known makers of Wiener oboes...

, Christian Rauch and Yamaha. It has a wider internal bore, a shorter and broader reed and the fingering-system is very different than the Conservatoire oboe. In "The Oboe", Geoffrey Burgess and Bruce Haynes write "The differences are most clearly marked in the middle register, which is reedier and more pungent, and the upper register, which is richer in harmonics on the Viennese oboe". Guntram Wolf describes them: "From the concept of the bore, the Viennese oboe is the last representative of the historical oboes, adapted for the louder, larger orchestra, and fitted with an extensive mechanism. Its great advantage is the ease of speaking, even in the lowest register. It can be played very expressively and blends well with other instruments." The Viennese oboe is, along with the Vienna horn, perhaps the most distinctive member of the Wiener Philharmoniker instrumentarium.

Conservatoire



The oboe was developed further in the 19th century by the Triebert family of Paris. Using the Boehm flute as a source of ideas for key work, Guillaume Triebert and his sons, Charles and Frederic, devised a series of increasingly complex yet functional key systems. A variant form using large tone holes, the Boehm system oboe, was never in common use, though it was used in some military bands in Europe into the 20th century. F. Lorée
F. Lorée
F. Lorée is a manufacturer of double reed musical instruments based in Paris, France. Lorée produces professional-level instruments in the oboe family under the brand F. Lorée and student-level oboes under the brand Cabart.F...

 of Paris made further developments to the modern instrument. Minor improvements to the bore and key work have continued through the 20th century, but there has been no fundamental change to the general characteristics of the instrument for several decades.

The modern oboe is most commonly made from grenadilla, also known as African Blackwood
African Blackwood
Dalbergia melanoxylon is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, native to seasonally dry regions of Africa from Senegal east to Eritrea and south to the Transvaal in South Africa....

, though some manufacturers also make oboes out of other members of the genus Dalbergia
Dalbergia
Dalbergia is a large genus of small to medium-size trees, shrubs and lianas in the pea family, Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. The genus has a wide distribution, native to the tropical regions of Central and South America, Africa, Madagascar and southern Asia...

, which includes cocobolo
Cocobolo
Cocobolo is a tropical hardwood of the tree Dalbergia retusa from Central America.Only the heartwood is used: this is typically orange or reddish-brown in color, often with a figuring of darker irregular traces weaving through the wood. The sapwood is a creamy yellow, with a sharp boundary with...

, rosewood
Rosewood
Rosewood refers to any of a number of richly hued timbers, often brownish with darker veining, but found in many different hues. All rosewoods are strong and heavy, taking an excellent polish, being suitable for guitars, marimbas, turnery , handles, furniture, luxury flooring, etc.In general,...

, and violetwood. Ebony
Ebony
Ebony is a dense black wood, most commonly yielded by several species in the genus Diospyros, but ebony may also refer to other heavy, black woods from unrelated species. Ebony is dense enough to sink in water. Its fine texture, and very smooth finish when polished, make it valuable as an...

 (genus Diospyros
Diospyros
Diospyros is a genus of about 450–500 species of deciduous and evergreen trees. The majority are native to the tropics, with only a few species extending into temperate regions. They are commonly known as ebony or persimmon trees...

) has also been used. Student model oboes are often made from plastic resin, to avoid instrument cracking to which wood instruments are prone, but also to make the instrument more economical. The oboe has an extremely narrow conical bore. The oboe is played with a double reed consisting of two thin blades of cane tied together on a small-diameter metal tube (staple) which is inserted into the reed socket at the top of the instrument. The commonly accepted range for the oboe extends from B3 to about G6, over two and a half octaves, though its common tessitura lies from C4 to E6. Some student oboes only extend to B3 (the key for B is not present). However this variant is becoming less common.

A modern oboe with the "full conservatoire" ("conservatory" in the USA) or Gillet key system has 45 pieces of keywork, with the possible additions of a third octave key and alternate (left little finger) F- or C-key. The keys are usually made of nickel silver
Nickel silver
Nickel silver, also known as German silver, Argentann, new silver, nickel brass, albata,, or alpacca, is a copper alloy with nickel and often zinc. The usual formulation is 60% copper, 20% nickel and 20% zinc. Nickel silver is named for its silvery appearance, but it contains no elemental silver...

, and are silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

 or occasionally gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

-plated. Besides the full conservatoire system, oboes are also made using the English thumbplate system. Most have "semi-automatic" octave keys, in which the second octave action closes the first, and some have a fully automatic octave key system, as used on saxophones. Some full conservatory oboes have finger holes covered with rings rather than plates ("open-holed"), and most of the professional models have at least the right hand third key open-holed. Professional oboes used in the UK frequently feature conservatoire system combined with a thumb plate. With this type of mechanism the oboist has the best of both worlds as far as the convenience of fingerings is concerned.

Other members of the oboe family



The oboe has several siblings. The most widely known today is the cor anglais
Cor anglais
The cor anglais , or English horn , is a double-reed woodwind instrument in the oboe family....

, or English horn, the tenor (or alto) member of the family. A transposing instrument
Transposing instrument
A transposing instrument is a musical instrument for which written notes are read at a pitch different from the corresponding concert pitch, which a non-transposing instrument, such as a piano, would play. Playing a written C on a transposing instrument will produce a note other than concert C...

; it is pitched in F, a perfect fifth lower than the oboe. The oboe d'amore
Oboe d'amore
The oboe d'amore , less commonly oboe d'amour, is a double reed woodwind musical instrument in the oboe family. Slightly larger than the oboe, it has a less assertive and more tranquil and serene tone, and is considered the mezzo-soprano of the oboe family, between the oboe itself and the cor...

, the alto (or mezzo-soprano) member of the family, is pitched in A, a minor third lower than the oboe. J.S. Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity...

 made extensive use of both the oboe d'amore as well as the taille and oboe da caccia
Oboe da caccia
The oboe da caccia is a double reed woodwind instrument in the oboe family, pitched a fifth below the oboe and used primarily in the Baroque period of European classical music...

, Baroque antecedents of the cor anglais. Even less common is the bass oboe
Bass oboe
The bass oboe or baritone oboe is a double reed instrument in the woodwind family. It is about twice the size of a regular oboe and sounds an octave lower; it has a deep, full tone not unlike that of its higher-pitched cousin, the English horn. The bass oboe is notated in the treble clef, sounding...

 (also called baritone oboe), which sounds one octave lower than the oboe. Delius
Frederick Delius
Frederick Theodore Albert Delius, CH was an English composer. Born in the north of England to a prosperous mercantile family of German extraction, he resisted attempts to recruit him to commerce...

  and Holst
Gustav Holst
Gustav Theodore Holst was an English composer. He is most famous for his orchestral suite The Planets....

 both scored for the instrument. Similar to the bass oboe is the more powerful heckelphone
Heckelphone
The heckelphone is a musical instrument invented by Wilhelm Heckel and his sons. Introduced in 1904, it is similar to the oboe but pitched an octave lower.-General characteristics:...

, which has a wider bore and larger tone than the bass oboe. Only 165 heckelphones have ever been made. Not surprisingly, competent heckelphone players are difficult to find due to the extreme rarity of this particular instrument. The least common of all are the musette (also called oboe musette or piccolo oboe
Piccolo oboe
The piccolo oboe, also known as the piccoloboe, is the smallest and highest pitched member of the oboe family, historically known as the oboe musette...

), the sopranino member of the family (it is usually pitched in E-flat or F above the oboe), and the contrabass oboe
Contrabass oboe
The contrabass oboe is a double reed woodwind instrument in the key of C or F, sounding two octaves lower than the standard oboe.Current research, in particular that by hautboy specialist Bruce Haynes, suggests that such instruments may have been developed in France as part of an original attempt...

 (typically pitched in C, two octaves deeper than the standard oboe).

Folk versions of the oboe, sometimes equipped with extensive keywork, are found throughout Europe. These include the musette
Piccolo oboe
The piccolo oboe, also known as the piccoloboe, is the smallest and highest pitched member of the oboe family, historically known as the oboe musette...

 (France) and bombarde (Brittany
Brittany
Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

), the piffaro and ciaramella (Italy), and the xirimia or chirimia
Chirimia
Chirimía is a Spanish term for a type of oboe, and in English is used to refer to various primitive oboes found in Latin America, based on instruments introduced during Spanish colonization.-Distribution:...

(Spain). Many of these are played in tandem with local forms of bagpipe, particularly with the Italian zampogna
Zampogna
Zampogna is a generic term for a number of Italian double chantered pipes that can be found as far north as the southern part of the Marche, throughout areas in Abruzzo, Latium, Molise, Basilicata, Campania, Calabria, and Sicily...

 or Breton biniou
Biniou
Binioù means bagpipe in the Breton language.There are two bagpipes called binioù in Brittany: the traditional binioù kozh and the binioù bras , which was brought into Brittany from Scotland in the late 19th century...

. Similar oboe-like instruments, most believed to derive from Middle Eastern models, are also found throughout Asia as well as in North Africa.

Reeds




Most professional oboists make their own reeds since every oboist needs a slightly different reed to suit his or her individual needs. By making their own reeds, oboists can precisely control factors such as tone colour and tuning.
Occasionally, novice oboists may begin with a Fibrecane reed, which is made of a synthetic material. Commercially available cane reeds are available in several degrees of hardness; a medium reed is usually used. These reeds, like clarinet, saxophone, and bassoon reeds, are made from Arundo donax
Arundo donax
Arundo donax, Giant Cane, is a tall perennial cane growing in damp soils, either fresh or moderately saline. Other common names include Carrizo, Arundo, Spanish cane, Wild cane, and Giant reed....

.
As oboists gain more experience, they may start making their own reeds after the model of their teacher, or buying hand-made reeds (usually from a professional oboist) and using special tools including gougers, pre-gougers, guillotines, knives, and other tools to make the reed to their own liking.
According to the late John Mack
John Mack (musician)
John Mack was a renowned American oboist.Born in Somerville, New Jersey, Mack attended the Juilliard School of Music, studying oboe with Harold Gomberg and Bruno Labate and then at the Curtis Institute of Music with Marcel Tabuteau, the longtime principal oboe of the Philadelphia Orchestra.His...

, former principal oboist of the Cleveland Orchestra
Cleveland Orchestra
The Cleveland Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Cleveland, Ohio. It is one of the five American orchestras informally referred to as the "Big Five". Founded in 1918, the orchestra plays most of its concerts at Severance Hall...

, an oboe student must fill a laundry basket with finished reeds in order to master the art . "Making good reeds requires years of practice, and the amateur is often well advised not to embark on making his own reeds, ... Orchestral musicians sometimes do this [make reeds], and co-principals in particular often earn a bit on the side in this way. ... Many professional musicians import their reed cane ... directly from the growers in southern France and split it vertically into three parts themselves. Oboes require thicknesses of about 10 millimetres, bassoons of 20 to 25 millimetres." This allows each player to adjust the reeds precisely for individual embouchure, oral cavity, oboe angle, and air support. The reed is considered the part of oboe playing that makes it so difficult because slight variations in temperature, altitude, weather, and climate will change a perfectly working reed into an unplayable collection of cane.

Notable classical works featuring the oboe

See also Oboe concerto
Oboe concerto
A number of concertos have been written for the oboe, both as a solo instrument as well as in conjunction with other solo instrument, and accompanied by string orchestra, chamber orchestra, full orchestra, band, or similar large ensemble.These include concertos by the following...

.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

    , Oboe Concerto in C major
    Oboe Concerto (Mozart)
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Oboe Concerto in C major, K. 314 was originally composed in Spring or Summer 1777 for oboist Giuseppe Ferlendis from Bergamo, then reworked by the composer as a concerto for flute in D major in 1778...

    , Quartet in F major
    Oboe Quartet (Mozart)
    The Oboe Quartet in F major, K. 370, was written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in early 1781. The quartet is scored for oboe, violin, viola and cello. In 1780, Mozart was invited to Munich to visit Elector Karl Theodor, who had commissioned the opera Idomeneo for a carnival celebration...

  • Antonio Vivaldi
    Antonio Vivaldi
    Antonio Lucio Vivaldi , nicknamed because of his red hair, was an Italian Baroque composer, priest, and virtuoso violinist, born in Venice. Vivaldi is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread over Europe...

    , at least 15 oboe concertos
  • Antonio Pasculli
    Antonio Pasculli
    Antonio Pasculli was an Italian oboist and composer, known as "the Paganini of the oboe".Pasculli was born and lived his whole life in Palermo, Sicily, but travelled widely in Italy, Germany and Austria, giving oboe concerts. He directed symphonic and wind orchestra concerts, which were popular in...

    , oboe concertos for oboe and piano/orchestra
  • Johann Sebastian Bach
    Johann Sebastian Bach
    Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity...

    , Brandenburg concertos
    Brandenburg concertos
    The Brandenburg concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach are a collection of six instrumental works presented by Bach to Christian Ludwig, margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt, in 1721 . They are widely regarded as among the finest musical compositions of the Baroque era...

     nos. 1 and 2, Concerto for Violin
    Violin
    The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

     and oboe, lost oboe concerti, numerous oboe obbligato lines in the sacred and secular cantatas
  • Tomaso Albinoni
    Tomaso Albinoni
    Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni was an Italian Baroque composer. While famous in his day as an opera composer, he is mainly remembered today for his instrumental music, such as the concertos, some of which are regularly recorded.-Biography:Born in Venice, Republic of Venice, to Antonio Albinoni, a...

    , Oboe (and two-oboe) Concerti
  • George Frideric Handel
    George Frideric Handel
    George Frideric Handel was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Handel was born in 1685, in a family indifferent to music...

    , The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, Oboe Concerti and Sonatas
  • Georg Philipp Telemann
    Georg Philipp Telemann
    Georg Philipp Telemann was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist. Almost completely self-taught in music, he became a composer against his family's wishes. After studying in Magdeburg, Zellerfeld, and Hildesheim, Telemann entered the University of Leipzig to study law, but eventually...

    , oboe concerti and sonatas, trio sonatas for oboe, recorder, and basso continuo
  • Richard Strauss
    Richard Strauss
    Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; and his tone poems and orchestral works, such as Death and Transfiguration, Till...

    , Oboe Concerto
  • Joseph Haydn
    Joseph Haydn
    Franz Joseph Haydn , known as Joseph Haydn , was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms...

     (spurious-possibly by Kozeluch
    Leopold Kozeluch
    Leopold Kozeluch was a Czech composer and teacher of classical music. He was born in the town of Velvary, in Bohemia .-Life:...

    ), Oboe Concerto in C major
  • Vincenzo Bellini
    Vincenzo Bellini
    Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Francesco Bellini was an Italian opera composer. His greatest works are I Capuleti ed i Montecchi , La sonnambula , Norma , Beatrice di Tenda , and I puritani...

    , Concerto in E, for oboe and string orchestra (before 1825)
  • Luciano Berio
    Luciano Berio
    Luciano Berio, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI was an Italian composer. He is noted for his experimental work and also for his pioneering work in electronic music.-Biography:Berio was born at Oneglia Luciano Berio, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (October 24, 1925 – May 27, 2003) was an Italian...

    , Sequenza VII
    Sequenza
    Sequenza is the name borne by fourteen compositions for solo instruments or voice by Luciano Berio. The word "sequenza" means "sequence" in Italian. The pieces, which often call for extended techniques, are:*Sequenza I Sequenza is the name borne by fourteen compositions for solo instruments or...

    (1969), also Chemins IV (on Sequenza VII), for oboe and string orchestra (1975)
  • Domenico Cimarosa
    Domenico Cimarosa
    Domenico Cimarosa was an Italian opera composer of the Neapolitan school...

    , Oboe Concerto in C major (arranged)
  • Francis Poulenc
    Francis Poulenc
    Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc was a French composer and a member of the French group Les six. He composed solo piano music, chamber music, oratorio, choral music, opera, ballet music, and orchestral music...

    , Oboe Sonata
    Oboe Sonata (Poulenc)
    The Sonata for oboe and piano by Francis Poulenc dates from 1962. It is his opus number 185 and is dedicated to the memory of Sergei Prokofiev. According to many oboists, the last movement "Déploration" was the last piece he wrote before he died. It sits as a kind of obituary.The Oboe Sonata is...

  • Madeleine Dring
    Madeleine Dring
    Madeleine Winefride Isabelle Dring was an English composer and actress.-Life:Madeleine Dring was born into a musical family. Growing up in Raleigh Road, Harringay, she showed talent at an early age and took lessons in the junior division of the Royal College of Music beginning on her tenth birthday...

    , Three Piece Suite arr. Roger Lord
  • Madeleine Dring
    Madeleine Dring
    Madeleine Winefride Isabelle Dring was an English composer and actress.-Life:Madeleine Dring was born into a musical family. Growing up in Raleigh Road, Harringay, she showed talent at an early age and took lessons in the junior division of the Royal College of Music beginning on her tenth birthday...

    , Trio for oboe, flute and piano
  • Benjamin Britten
    Benjamin Britten
    Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, OM CH was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. He showed talent from an early age, and first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy Was Born in 1934. With the premiere of his opera Peter Grimes in 1945, he leapt to...

    , Six Metamorphoses after Ovid
    Six Metamorphoses after Ovid
    English composer Benjamin Britten composed the program music Six Metamorphoses after Ovid for solo Oboe in 1951. Intended to evoke images of the Roman poet Ovid's Metamorphoses, the piece is dedicated to oboist Joy Boughton who gave the first performance at the Aldeburgh Festival on 14 June 1951...

    , op. 49, Temporal Variations, Two Insect Pieces, Phantasy Quartet, Op. 2
  • Robert Schumann
    Robert Schumann
    Robert Schumann, sometimes known as Robert Alexander Schumann, was a German composer, aesthete and influential music critic. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most representative composers of the Romantic era....

    , Three Romances for oboe or violin and piano
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen
    Karlheinz Stockhausen
    Karlheinz Stockhausen was a German composer, widely acknowledged by critics as one of the most important but also controversial composers of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Another critic calls him "one of the great visionaries of 20th-century music"...

    , In Freundschaft, for oboe, Nr. 46⅔, Oboe for oboe and electronic music (from Orchester-Finalisten, scene 2 of Mittwoch aus Licht)
  • Edmund Rubbra
    Edmund Rubbra
    Edmund Rubbra was a British composer. He composed both instrumental and vocal works for soloists, chamber groups and full choruses and orchestras. He was greatly esteemed by fellow musicians and was at the peak of his fame in the mid-20th century. The most famous of his pieces are his eleven...

    , Oboe Sonata
  • Carl Nielsen
    Carl Nielsen
    Carl August Nielsen , , widely recognised as Denmark's greatest composer, was also a conductor and a violinist. Brought up by poor but musically talented parents on the island of Funen, he demonstrated his musical abilities at an early age...

    , Two Fantasy Pieces for Oboe and Piano
    Fantasy Pieces for Oboe and Piano
    Carl Nielsen's Fantasy Pieces for Oboe and Piano , Opus 2, were composed shortly after the composer had taken up the post of second violinist in the Royal Danish Orchestra in 1889. The two pieces which make up the opus were first performed at the Royal Orchestra Soirée in Copenhagen on 16 March 1891...

    , Op. 2
  • Alessandro Marcello
    Alessandro Marcello
    Alessandro Marcello was an Italian nobleman, poet, philosopher, mathematician and musician.-Biography:...

    , Concerto in D minor
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Ralph Vaughan Williams OM was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song: this activity both influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, beginning in 1904, in which he included many...

    , Concerto for Oboe and Strings
    Oboe Concerto (Vaughan Williams)
    Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote his Concerto in A minor for Oboe and Strings for soloist Léon Goossens in 1944. This pastoral piece is divided into three movements:# Rondo Pastorale # Minuet and Musette...

    , Ten Blake Songs for oboe and tenor
  • Camille Saint-Saëns
    Camille Saint-Saëns
    Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was a French Late-Romantic composer, organist, conductor, and pianist. He is known especially for The Carnival of the Animals, Danse macabre, Samson and Delilah, Piano Concerto No. 2, Cello Concerto No. 1, Havanaise, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, and his Symphony...

    , Sonata for Oboe and Piano in D Major
  • Bohuslav Martinů
    Bohuslav Martinu
    Bohuslav Martinů was a prolific Czech composer of modern classical music. He was of Czech and Rumanian ancestry. Martinů wrote six symphonies, 15 operas, 14 ballet scores and a large body of orchestral, chamber, vocal and instrumental works. Martinů became a violinist in the Czech Philharmonic...

    , Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra
    Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra (Martinů)
    Bohuslav Martinů's Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra, H. 353, was written in 1955 for the Czech-born Australian oboist Jiří Tancibudek.The work was commissioned by the Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper, in celebration of the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.Jiří Tancibudek gave the world premiere...

  • Darius Milhaud
    Darius Milhaud
    Darius Milhaud was a French composer and teacher. He was a member of Les Six—also known as The Group of Six—and one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century. His compositions are influenced by jazz and make use of polytonality...

    , Les rêves de Jacob, op. 294, for oboe, violin, viola, cello, and doublebass (1949); Sonatina, op. 337, for oboe and piano (1954)
  • Bernd Alois Zimmermann
    Bernd Alois Zimmermann
    Bernd Alois Zimmermann was a post-WWII West German composer. He is perhaps best known for his opera Die Soldaten which is regarded as one of the most important operas of the 20th century...

    , Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra (1952)
  • Carlos Chávez
    Carlos Chávez
    Carlos Antonio de Padua Chávez y Ramírez was a Mexican composer, conductor, music theorist, educator, journalist, and founder and director of the Mexican Symphonic Orchestra. He was influenced by native Mexican cultures. Of his six Symphonies, his Symphony No...

    , Upingos, for unaccompanied oboe
  • Hans Werner Henze
    Hans Werner Henze
    Hans Werner Henze is a German composer of prodigious output best known for "his consistent cultivation of music for the theatre throughout his life"...

    , Doppio concerto, for oboe, harp, and string orchestra (1966)
  • Bruno Maderna
    Bruno Maderna
    Bruno Maderna was an Italian conductor and composer. For the last ten years of his life he lived in Germany and eventually became a citizen of that country.-Biography:...

    , three oboe concertos (1962–63) (1967) (1973); Grande aulodia, for flute, oboe, and orchestra (1970)
  • Witold Lutosławski, Double Concerto for Oboe, Harp, and Chamber Orchestra
  • Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Oboe Concerto
  • Paul Hindemith
    Paul Hindemith
    Paul Hindemith was a German composer, violist, violinist, teacher, music theorist and conductor.- Biography :Born in Hanau, near Frankfurt, Hindemith was taught the violin as a child...

    , Sonata for Oboe and Piano
  • Samuel Barber
    Samuel Barber
    Samuel Osborne Barber II was an American composer of orchestral, opera, choral, and piano music. His Adagio for Strings is his most popular composition and widely considered a masterpiece of modern classical music...

    , Canzonetta, op. 48, for oboe and string orchestra (1977–78, orch. completed by Charles Turner)
  • Igor Stravinsky
    Igor Stravinsky
    Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky ; 6 April 1971) was a Russian, later naturalized French, and then naturalized American composer, pianist, and conductor....

    , Pastorale (transcribed in 1933 for Violin and Wind Quartet)
  • Elliott Carter
    Elliott Carter
    Elliott Cook Carter, Jr. is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer born and living in New York City. He studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris in the 1930s, and then returned to the United States. After a neoclassical phase, he went on to write atonal, rhythmically complex music...

    , Oboe Concerto (1986–87); Trilogy, for oboe and harp (1992); Quartet for oboe, violin, viola, and cello (2001)
  • Heinz Holliger
    Heinz Holliger
    Heinz Holliger Heinz Holliger Heinz Holliger (born 21 May 1939 is a Swiss oboist, composer and conductor.-Biography:He was born in Langenthal, Switzerland, and began his musical education at the conservatories of Bern and Basel. He studied composition with Sándor Veress and Pierre Boulez...

    , Sonata, for unaccompanied oboe (1956–57/99); Mobile, for oboe and harp (1962); Trio, for oboe (doubling English horn), viola, and harp (1966); Studie über Mehrklänge, for unaccompanied oboe (1971); Sechs Stücke, for oboe (doubling oboe d’amore) and harp (1998–99)
  • Jan Dismas Zelenka
    Jan Dismas Zelenka
    Jan Dismas Zelenka , baptised Jan Lukáš Zelenka and previously also known as Johann Dismas Zelenka, was the most important Czech Baroque composer, whose music was notably daring with outstanding harmonic invention and mastery of counterpoint.- Life :Zelenka was born in Louňovice pod Blaníkem, a small...

     (1723) Concertanti, Oboe Trios and other works
  • Tchaikovsky, Theme to Swan Lake
    Swan Lake
    Swan Lake ballet, op. 20, by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, composed 1875–1876. The scenario, initially in four acts, was fashioned from Russian folk tales and tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse. The choreographer of the original production was Julius Reisinger...

  • Maurice Ravel
    Maurice Ravel
    Joseph-Maurice Ravel was a French composer known especially for his melodies, orchestral and instrumental textures and effects...

    , Le Tombeau de Couperin

Use in non-classical music


While the oboe is rarely used in musical genres other than Western classical, there have been a few notable exceptions.

Traditional and folk music


Although folk oboes are still used in many European folk music traditions, the modern oboe has been little used in folk music. One exception was Derek Bell
Derek Bell (musician)
George Derek Fleetwood Bell, MBE was an Northern Irish harpist, pianist, oboist, musicologist, and composer, best known for his accompaniment work on various instruments with The Chieftains....

, harp
Harp
The harp is a multi-stringed instrument which has the plane of its strings positioned perpendicularly to the soundboard. Organologically, it is in the general category of chordophones and has its own sub category . All harps have a neck, resonator and strings...

ist for the Irish group The Chieftains
The Chieftains
The Chieftains are a Grammy-winning Irish musical group founded in 1962, best known for being one of the first bands to make Irish traditional music popular around the world.-Name:...

, who used the instrument in some performances and recordings. The United States contra dance
Contra dance
Contra dance refers to several partnered folk dance styles in which couples dance in two facing lines...

 band Wild Asparagus, based in western Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, also uses the oboe, played by David Cantieni. The folk musician Paul Sartin plays the oboe in several English folk bands including Faustus and Bellowhead. The bagpipe player and bagpipe maker Jonathan Shorland plays a 'rustic oboe' similar to the Breton 'piston' with the bands Primeaval and Juice
Juice
Juice is the liquid that is naturally contained in fruit or vegetable tissue.Juice is prepared by mechanically squeezing or macerating fruit or vegetable flesh without the application of heat or solvents. For example, orange juice is the liquid extract of the fruit of the orange tree...

, and formerly played with Fernhill
Fernhill
Fernhill is a residential district in the Scottish town of Rutherglen in Lanarkshire. It is situated south of the River Clyde. Built largely in the 1950s and 60s as a slum clearance area for Rutherglen, Fernhill could be considered as a smaller equivalent to the infamous Castlemilk estate which...

, who play traditional Welsh music.

Jazz


Since 1996, Jean-Luc Fillon
Jean-Luc Fillon
Jean-Luc Fillon is a French oboist, English Horn player, double bass player, electric bass player, orchestra conductor and composer. He began in 1987 as oboe soloist in the European Symphonic Orchestra, and since 2001, Fillon has made numerous musical compositions that use the oboe and English Horn...

 is the main musician playing oboe (and English horn) at the international level in jazz music. Nevertheless this instrument remains very rare throughout the world and in jazz history. Some early bands, most notably that of Paul Whiteman
Paul Whiteman
Paul Samuel Whiteman was an American bandleader and orchestral director.Leader of the most popular dance bands in the United States during the 1920s, Whiteman's recordings were immensely successful, and press notices often referred to him as the "King of Jazz"...

, included it for coloristic purposes. The multi-instrumentalist Garvin Bushell
Garvin Bushell
Garvin Bushell was an American woodwind multi-instrumentalist.Though never a major name in jazz, Bushell had a lengthy career from the music's early era, to the avant garde of the 1960s.-Biography:Bushell was born in Springfield, Ohio...

 (1902–1991) played the oboe in jazz bands as early as 1924 and used the instrument throughout his career, eventually recording with John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John William Coltrane was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Working in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes in jazz and later was at the forefront of free jazz...

 in 1961. Gil Evans
Gil Evans
Gil Evans was a jazz pianist, arranger, composer and bandleader, active in the United States...

 scored for the instrument in his famous Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Dewey Davis III was an American jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis was, with his musical groups, at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebop, cool jazz,...

 collaboration Sketches of Spain
Sketches of Spain
Sketches of Spain is an album by Miles Davis, recorded between November 1959 and March 1960 at the Columbia 30th Street Studio in New York City....

. Though primarily a tenor saxophone
Tenor saxophone
The tenor saxophone is a medium-sized member of the saxophone family, a group of instruments invented by Adolphe Sax in the 1840s. The tenor, with the alto, are the two most common types of saxophones. The tenor is pitched in the key of B, and written as a transposing instrument in the treble...

 and flute
Flute
The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening...

 player, Yusef Lateef
Yusef Lateef
Dr. Yusef Lateef is an American Grammy Award-winning jazz multi-instrumentalist, composer, educator and a spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community after his conversion to the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam in 1950.Although Lateef's main instruments are the tenor saxophone and flute, he is known for...

 was among the first (in 1963) to use the oboe as a solo instrument in modern jazz performances and recordings. Composer and double bassist Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus Jr. was an American jazz musician, composer, bandleader, and civil rights activist.Mingus's compositions retained the hot and soulful feel of hard bop and drew heavily from black gospel music while sometimes drawing on elements of Third stream, free jazz, and classical music...

 gave the oboe a brief but prominent role (played by Dick Hafer
Dick Hafer
Dick Hafer is an American jazz tenor saxophonist born in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.Hafer began playing clarinet at age seven and switched to tenor sax in high school. His first professional gig was with Charlie Barnet's orchestra in 1949. He played with Claude Thornhill from 1949 to 1950 before...

) in his composition "I.X. Love" on the 1963 album Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus
Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus
Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus is a 1963 album by jazz composer and bassist Charles Mingus.- Historical Context :...

. Marshall Allen
Marshall Allen
Marshall Belford Allen is an American free jazz and avant-garde jazz alto saxophone player. He also performs on flute, oboe, piccolo, and EVI ....

 occasionally played an oboe with Sun Ra
Sun Ra
Sun Ra was a prolific jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, poet and philosopher known for his "cosmic philosophy," musical compositions and performances. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama...

.

With the birth of Jazz fusion
Jazz fusion
Jazz fusion is a musical fusion genre that developed from mixing funk and R&B rhythms and the amplification and electronic effects of rock, complex time signatures derived from non-Western music and extended, typically instrumental compositions with a jazz approach to lengthy group improvisations,...

 in the late 1960s
In a Silent Way
In a Silent Way is a studio album by American jazz musician Miles Davis, released July 30, 1969 on Columbia Records. Produced by Teo Macero, the album was recorded in one session date on February 18, 1969 at CBS 30th Street Studio B in New York City. Incorporating elements of classical sonata form,...

, and its continuous development through the following decade
1970s in music
For music from a year in the 1970s, go to 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79This article includes an overview of the major events and trends in popular music in the 1970s....

, the oboe started to fulfill a more important role in composition
Musical composition
Musical composition can refer to an original piece of music, the structure of a musical piece, or the process of creating a new piece of music. People who practice composition are called composers.- Musical compositions :...

, replacing on some occasions the saxophone
Saxophone
The saxophone is a conical-bore transposing musical instrument that is a member of the woodwind family. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. The saxophone was invented by the Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in 1846...

 as the focal point. The oboe was used with great success by the Welsh
Welsh people
The Welsh people are an ethnic group and nation associated with Wales and the Welsh language.John Davies argues that the origin of the "Welsh nation" can be traced to the late 4th and early 5th centuries, following the Roman departure from Britain, although Brythonic Celtic languages seem to have...

 multi-instrumentalist
Multi-instrumentalist
A multi-instrumentalist is a musician who plays a number of different instruments.The Bachelor of Music degree usually requires a second instrument to be learned , but people who double on another instrument are not usually seen as multi-instrumentalists.-Classical music:Music written for Symphony...

 Karl Jenkins
Karl Jenkins
-Other works:*Adiemus: Live — live versions of Adiemus music*Palladio *Eloise *Imagined Oceans *The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace...

 in his work with the groups Nucleus
Nucleus (band)
Nucleus were a pioneering jazz-rock band from Britain who continued in different forms from 1969 to 1989. In their first year they won first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival, released the album Elastic Rock, and performed both at the Newport Jazz Festival and the Village Gate jazz club.They were...

 and Soft Machine
Soft Machine
Soft Machine were an English rock band from Canterbury, named after the book The Soft Machine by William S. Burroughs. They were one of the central bands in the Canterbury scene, and helped pioneer the progressive rock genre...

, and by the American woodwind
Woodwind instrument
A woodwind instrument is a musical instrument which produces sound when the player blows air against a sharp edge or through a reed, causing the air within its resonator to vibrate...

 player Paul McCandless
Paul McCandless
Paul McCandless, Jr. is an American jazz woodwind player and composer. He is one of few expert jazz oboists, and also plays English horn, soprano saxophone, sopranino saxophone, bass clarinet, clarinet, and pennywhistle, among other instruments.He has performed with the Paul Winter Consort and is...

, co-founder of the Paul Winter Consort
Paul Winter Consort
The Paul Winter Consort is an American musical group, led by soprano saxophonist Paul Winter. Founded in 1967, the group mixes elements of jazz, classical music, world music, and the sounds of animals and nature. They are often classified as new age music or "ecological jazz", and their unique...

 and later Oregon. Romeo Penque also played the oboe on Roland Kirk's 1975 album Return of the 5000 Lb. Man, in the song "Theme for the Eulipions."

The 1980s saw an increasing number of oboists try their hand at non-classical work, and many players of note have recorded and performed alternative music on oboe. Some present-day jazz groups influenced by classical music, such as the Maria Schneider
Maria Schneider (musician)
Maria Schneider is an American arranger, composer, and big-band leader who has won multiple awards. In 2005, her album Concert in the Garden won a Grammy for "Best Large Ensemble Album"...

 Orchestra, feature the oboe.

Double reedist Charles Pillow makes use of oboe and has made an instructional recording for jazz oboe.

Rock and pop


The oboe has been used sporadically in rock recordings, generally by studio musicians on recordings of specific songs.

In the 2000s, Robbie J. de Klerk, the vocalist of the Dutch melodic doom
Doom metal
Doom metal is an extreme form of heavy metal music that typically uses slower tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much "thicker" or "heavier" sound than other metal genres...

/death
Death metal
Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It typically employs heavily distorted guitars, tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, blast beat drumming, minor keys or atonality, and complex song structures with multiple tempo changes....

 metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 band Another Messiah also played the oboe in most songs. In America, the band Hoboe defines itself as a rock band showcasing amplified oboe since 2000, fronted by oboist Zen Ben.
  • For a historical sampling of songs featuring the oboe see Oboes in popular music
    Oboes in popular music
    The oboe and its alto version the English horn are instruments generally associated with art music, but they have been used sporadically in popular music recordings, generally by studio musicians on recordings of specific songs....



Film music


The oboe is frequently featured in film music, often to underscore a particularly poignant or sad scene, for example in the motion picture Born on the Fourth of July
Born on the Fourth of July (film)
Born on the Fourth of July is a 1989 American film adaptation of the best selling autobiography of the same name by Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic. Tom Cruise plays Kovic, in a performance that earned him his first Academy Award nomination. Oliver Stone co-wrote the screenplay with Kovic, and also...

, where an oboe delicately takes the theme with a romantic and harmonic touch before the strings hand it over once again to the trumpet. One of the most prominent uses of the oboe in a film score is Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone, Grand Officer OMRI, , is an Italian composer and conductor, who wrote music to more than 500 motion pictures and television series, in a career lasting over 50 years. His scores have been included in over 20 award-winning films as well as several symphonic and choral pieces...

's "Gabriel's Oboe" theme from the 1986 film The Mission.

It is featured as a solo instrument in the theme "Across the Stars" from the John Williams
John Williams
John Towner Williams is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. In a career spanning almost six decades, he has composed some of the most recognizable film scores in the history of motion pictures, including the Star Wars saga, Jaws, Superman, the Indiana Jones films, E.T...

 score to Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is a 2002 American epic space opera film directed by George Lucas and written by Lucas and Jonathan Hales. It is the fifth film to be released in the Star Wars saga and the second in terms of the series' internal chronology...

. The oboe is also used in "The Search" from the Basil Poledouris
Basil Poledouris
Vassilis Konstantinos "Basil" Poledouris was a Greek-American music composer who concentrated on the scores for films and television shows...

 score to Conan The Barbarian.

Ilaiyaraja, a famous Indian film music composer, has also used the oboe in much of his film music. Examples include "Dalapathi" (1991); the title track of "Aditya 369" (1991); “Pazhassiraja” (2009); and “Nandalaala”(2010). The oboe has also been used by more recent Indian music composers, such as A. R. Rahman, who has used it in the movie "Jodha Akbar" (2008).

Oboe manufacturers



  • Barrington Instruments Inc. (Barrington, Illinois
    Barrington, Illinois
    Barrington is a suburban village in Cook County, Illinois and Lake County, Illinois. The population was 10,327 at the 2010 census. Located approximately northwest of Chicago, the area features wetlands, forest preserves, parks and horse trails in a country-suburban setting...

    , USA)
  • Boosey and Hawkes (1851-1970s) (London
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

    , UK)
  • Buffet Crampon
    Buffet Crampon
    Buffet Crampon et Compagnie is a French manufacturer of woodwind musical instruments, including oboes, flutes, saxophones, and bassoons; however, the company is perhaps most famous for their clarinets, as Buffet is the brand of choice for many professionals....

     (Mantes-la-Ville
    Mantes-la-Ville
    Mantes-la-Ville is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France. It is located in the western suburbs of Paris from the center....

    , France)
  • Bulgheroni (Parè
    Parè
    Parè is a comune in the Province of Como in the Italian region Lombardy, located about 40 km northwest of Milan and about 6 km west of Como, on the border with Switzerland...

    , Italy)
  • Cabart or Thibouville-Cabart (1869–1974, bought out by F. Lorée
    F. Lorée
    F. Lorée is a manufacturer of double reed musical instruments based in Paris, France. Lorée produces professional-level instruments in the oboe family under the brand F. Lorée and student-level oboes under the brand Cabart.F...

    ) (Paris
    Paris
    Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

    , France)
  • Carmichael (UK)
  • Chauvet (until ~ 1975) (Paris, France)
  • Mark Chudnow (MCW, Sierra) (Napa, California
    Napa, California
    -History:The name Napa was probably derived from the name given to a southern Nappan village whose people shared the area with elk, deer, grizzlies and cougars for many centuries, according to Napa historian Kami Santiago. At the time of the first recorded exploration into Napa Valley in 1823, the...

    , USA)
  • Constantinides (Pöggstall
    Pöggstall
    Pöggstall is a town in the district of Melk in the Austrian state of Lower Austria.-References:...

    , Austria)
  • Covey (Blairsville, Georgia
    Blairsville, Georgia
    -Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 659 people, 226 households, and 101 families residing in the city. The population density was 619.7 people per square mile . There were 261 housing units at an average density of 245.4 per square mile...

    , USA)
  • Dupin (Moutfort
    Moutfort
    Moutfort is a town in the commune of Contern, in southern Luxembourg. , the town has a population of 1,171....

    , Luxembourg)
  • D.W.K (Seoul, Korea)
  • Fossati (incl. Tiery) (Paris, France)
  • Fox (South Whitley, Indiana
    South Whitley, Indiana
    South Whitley is a town in Cleveland Township, Whitley County, Indiana, United States. The population was 1,751 at the 2010 census. South Whitley is a town in the Midwestern tradition of red brick buildings and tree-lined streets.-Geography:...

    , USA)
  • Frank (Berlin
    Berlin
    Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

    , Germany)
  • Heckel (until the 1960s) (Wiesbaden
    Wiesbaden
    Wiesbaden is a city in southwest Germany and the capital of the federal state of Hesse. It has about 275,400 inhabitants, plus approximately 10,000 United States citizens...

    , Germany)
  • Thomas Hiniker Woodwinds (Rochester, Minnesota
    Rochester, Minnesota
    Rochester is a city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Olmsted County. Located on both banks of the Zumbro River, The city has a population of 106,769 according to the 2010 United States Census, making it Minnesota's third-largest city and the largest outside of the...

    , USA)
  • Howarth (London, UK)
  • Incagnoli (Rome
    Rome
    Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

    , Italy)
  • A. Jardé (prior to WWII) (Paris, France)
  • Josef
    Musik Josef
    Musik Josef is a Japanese manufacturer of musical instruments. It was founded by Yukio Nakamura and is the only company in Japan specializing in producing oboes and Cor anglais.-Oboe:*AS*BS*MGS*CGS*PGS...

     (Tokyo
    Tokyo
    , ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

    , Japan)
  • V. Kohlert & Söhne (1840-1948 Graslitz, Czechoslovakia, 1948-1970s Kohlert & Co. Winnenden
    Winnenden
    Winnenden is a small town in the Rems-Murr district of the Stuttgart Region in Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany. It lies in a wine-growing area approx. northeast of Stuttgart and has a population of less than 28,000...

    , Germany)
  • Kreul (incl. Mirafone) (Tübingen
    Tübingen
    Tübingen is a traditional university town in central Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated south of the state capital, Stuttgart, on a ridge between the Neckar and Ammer rivers.-Geography:...

    , Germany)

  • J. R. LaFleur (1865–1938, bought by Boosey & Hawkes) (London, UK)
  • Larilee Woodwind Corp. (USA) (Elkhart, Indiana
    Elkhart, Indiana
    Elkhart is a city in Elkhart County, Indiana, United States. The city is located east of South Bend, northwest of Fort Wayne, east of Chicago, and north of Indianapolis...

    , USA)
  • A. Läubin
    A. Laubin
    A. Laubin, Inc. is an American maker of oboes and English horns, located in Peekskill, New York. The first Laubin oboe was made in 1931 by Alfred Laubin, a performing musician who was dissatisfied with the quality of instruments available at the time. The creation of oboes began as a home project,...

      (incl. "A. Barré") (Peekskill, New York
    Peekskill, New York
    Peekskill is a city in Westchester County, New York. It is situated on a bay along the east side of the Hudson River, across from Jones Point.This community was known to be an early American industrial center, primarily for its iron plow and stove products...

    , USA)
  • G. LeBlanc (France-USA)
  • Linton (Elkhart, Indiana, USA)
  • F. Lorée
    F. Lorée
    F. Lorée is a manufacturer of double reed musical instruments based in Paris, France. Lorée produces professional-level instruments in the oboe family under the brand F. Lorée and student-level oboes under the brand Cabart.F...

      (incl. Cabart) (Paris, France)
  • Louis (prior to WWII) (London, UK)
  • Malerne (until 1974, bought by Marigaux) (La Couture-Boussey
    La Couture-Boussey
    La Couture-Boussey is a commune in the Eure department in northern France.-Population:-External links:*...

    , France)
  • Marigaux
    Marigaux
    Marigaux, also known as SML is a French manufacturer of high quality woodwind instruments.Marigaux is considered one of the world's best oboe-makers...

      (Mantes-la-Ville, France)
  • Markardt (until 1976, bought by Mönnig) (Erlbach
    Erlbach
    Erlbach is a municipality in the district of Altötting in Bavaria in Germany....

    , Germany)
  • Mollenauer (before WWII; now only recorders) (Fulda
    Fulda
    Fulda is a city in Hesse, Germany; it is located on the river Fulda and is the administrative seat of the Fulda district .- Early Middle Ages :...

    , Germany)
  • Gebr. Mönnig - Oscar Adler (Markneukirchen
    Markneukirchen
    Markneukirchen is a town in the Vogtlandkreis district, in the Free State of Saxony, Germany. It lies in between the Erzgebirge and the Fichtelgebirge in the Elstergebirge, southeast of Plauen, and northeast of Asch ....

    , Germany)
  • Orsi (Tradate
    Tradate
    Tradate is a city and comune located in the province of Varese, in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. It is located 15 km from the city of Varese , and according to the 2004 census Tradate's population was 16,259. It received the honorary title of city with a presidential decree on...

    , Italy)
  • John Packer (Taunton
    Taunton
    Taunton is the county town of Somerset, England. The town, including its suburbs, had an estimated population of 61,400 in 2001. It is the largest town in the shire county of Somerset....

    , UK)
  • Patricola (Castelnuovo Scrivia
    Castelnuovo Scrivia
    Castelnuovo Scrivia is a comune in the Province of Alessandria in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 90 km east of Turin and about 20 km northeast of Alessandria.-History:...

    , Italy)
  • Püchner (Nauheim
    Nauheim
    Nauheim is a community in Groß-Gerau district in Hesse, Germany.- Location :Nauheim lies 3 km northwest of the district seat of Groß-Gerau 16 km northwest of Darmstadt and 6 km southeast of Rüsselsheim. After the Second World War, many instrument makers from the Sudetenland such as W...

    , Germany)
  • Karl Radovanovic (Vienna
    Vienna
    Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

    , Austria)
  • Rigoutat (incl. RIEC) (Saint-Maur-des-Fossés
    Saint-Maur-des-Fossés
    Saint-Maur-des-Fossés is a commune in the southeastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 11.7 km. from the center of Paris.-The abbey:...

    , France)
  • A. Robert (prior to WWII) (Paris, France)
  • Selmer
    The Selmer Company
    Henri Selmer Paris company is a French family-owned enterprise, manufacturer of musical instruments based in Paris, France in 1885. It is known for its high-quality woodwind and brass instruments, especially saxophones, clarinets and trumpets...

     (incl. Bundy, Lesher, Omega, Signet) (France, USA)
  • Tom Sparkes (Hornsby, New South Wales
    Hornsby, New South Wales
    * Highest Maximum Temperature: 42 °C* Lowest Maximum Temperature: 4.9 °C* Warmest Month: January* Coolest Month: July* Highest Precipitation: February* Lowest Precipitation: July-Notable residents:...

    , Australia)
  • Ward & Winterbourne (London, UK)
  • Guntram Wolf (Kronach
    Kronach
    Kronach is a town in Oberfranken, Bavaria, Germany, located in the Frankenwald area. It is the capital of the district Kronach.Kronach is the birthtown of Lucas Cranach the Elder and Maximilian von Welsch, as well as Johann Kaspar Zeuss and Josef Stangl....

    , Germany)
  • Yamaha (Japan)


Sources

  • Baines, Anthony: 1967, Woodwind Instruments and Their History, Third edition, with a foreword by Sir Adrian Boult. London: Faber and Faber.
  • Beckett, Morgan Hughes: 2008, "The Sensuous Oboe", Orange, CA: Scuffin University Press. ISBN 0-456-00432-7
  • Burgess, Geoffrey, and Bruce Haynes: 2004, The Oboe, The Yale Musical Instrument Series, New Haven, Connecticut and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 0300093179
  • Carse, Adam: 1965, Musical Wind Instruments: A History of the Wind Instruments Used in European Orchestras and Wind-Bands from the Later Middle Ages up to the Present Time New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80005-5
  • Harris-Warrick, Rebecca: 1990, "A Few Thoughts on Lully's hautbois" Early Music 18, no. 1 (February, "The Baroque Stage II"): 97-98+101-102+105-106
  • Mauro Gioielli: La "calamaula" di Eutichiano, Utriculus, anno VIII, n. 4 (32), ottobre-dicembre 1999, pp. 44–45
  • Haynes, Bruce: 1985, Music for Oboe, 1650-1800: A Bibliography, Fallen Leaf Reference Books in Music, 8755-268X; no. 4. Berkeley, California: Fallen Leaf Press. ISBN 0914913034
  • Haynes, Bruce: 1988, "Lully and the Rise of the Oboe as Seen in Works of Art" Early Music 16, no. 3 (August): 324–38.
  • Haynes, Bruce: 2001, The Eloquent Oboe: A History of the Hautboy 1640–1760, Oxford Early Music Series, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 019816646X
  • Howe, Robert: 2003, "The Boehm System Oboe and its Role in the Development of the Modern Oboe", Galpin Society Journal 56:27–60 +plates on 190–92
  • Howe, Robert, and Peter Hurd: 2004, "The Heckelphone at 100", Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society 30:98–165.
  • Marcuse, Sybil: 1975, Musical Instruments: A Comprehensive Dictionary Revised edition, The Norton Library, New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-00758-8

External links


Listening