10 questions about the oboe.

In today’s post, we bring you 10 questions about the oboe. If you’re just starting with this instrument, here you’ll find information about its origins, where the name comes from, its range, what it’s made of, how it sounds, how many types there are, and much more. We hope this entry is useful to you. If you have more questions, feel free to leave your comment at the end. Today, we’re going to answer these 10:

  • What is the oboe?
  • What material is an oboe made of?
  • What is the reed of the oboe used for?
  • Where does the name “oboe” come from?
  • How many types of oboes exist?
  • What is the name for a person who plays the oboe?
  • What is the origin of the oboe?
  • What is the range of the oboe?
  • Why does the oboe tune to the orchestra?
  • How does the oboe sound?

What is the oboe?

It is an instrument from the woodwind family with a double reed. The body of the oboe is conical, meaning it goes from wider to narrower. Holes called tone holes are made on this body, on which keys are placed to produce different notes.

oboe profesional

 

 

What material is an oboe made of?

It is traditionally made of ebony wood, a wood known for its high quality since ancient Egyptian times. Nowadays, oboes are not only made of wood; other materials such as composite or acrylic are also used.

bosque ébano

Source of the image: https://madera-sostenible.com/

 

What is the reed of the oboe used for?

The reed or cane is what produces the sound. When air comes into contact with the reed inserted into the upper body of the oboe, the reed vibrates, producing sound. The oboe requires the reed to be played.

caña oboe

 

Where does the name “oboe” come from?

The name comes from French: Hautbois, meaning “high wood”.

 

How many types of oboes exist?

Ordered from highest to lowest pitch:

  • Piccolo oboe: From the French musette, tuned in E-flat or F.
  • Oboe: Tuned in C.
  • Oboe d’amore: From the Italian oboe d’amore, tuned in A.
  • English horn: From the French cor anglais, tuned in F.
  • Bass oboe or Baritone oboe: Tuned in C, but an octave lower than the oboe.
  • Heckelphone: Also tuned in C and also sounds an octave lower than the oboe. This oboe is often confused with the baritone oboe.

HeckelfonSource: https://heckel.de/

 

You can read this post for more information about the oboe family:

The Oboe Family

 

How is a person who plays the oboe called?

A person who plays the oboe is called an oboist.

 

oboísta Éric González

 

What is the origin of the oboe?

The origin of the instrument dates back to around 3,000 years before Christ, probably in civilizations of Mesopotamia, Babylonia, and Isin. Of course, these were very different instruments from what we know today, as the oboe had its greatest mechanical development between the 19th and early 20th centuries.

 

What is the range of the oboe?

The range is from low B-flat2 to high G5. Although higher notes can be reached, ranging from high G5 to high C6.

 

tesitura oboe

 

Why does the oboe tune to the orchestra?

Due to its stable tone and sound characteristics, the oboist is responsible for tuning the orchestra. Once the orchestra is on stage, the oboist will give the A note for all the orchestra musicians to tune their instruments based on the oboe’s tuning. In Europe, almost everyone tunes to A=442 nowadays because it’s said to produce a brighter sound.

Éric González oboe

 

How does the oboe sound?

It is a very versatile instrument in terms of sound and expressive capability. It is characterized by its sweet and lyrical sound, penetrating tone, and great expressiveness.

If you want to hear it, here are some videos of Éric González, founder of EG-REEDS. In the first one, he plays Respighi – Gli uccelli (The Birds) – The Dove. In the second one, he plays the oboe solos from Mahler’s First Symphony. We hope you enjoy them!!

 

Do you have more questions or want to share your answers? Feel free to comment below!

See you at www.eg-reeds.com.

 

 

Éric González, oboe.

www.ericgonzalezoboe.com

 

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