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Can someone please edit the lists? They are very long and, in my opinion, don't contribute to the article. --Caaristiona (talk) 03:42, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

There is really no justification for most of them existing at all. In particular, the "Notable classical works featuring the oboe" list here takes up a lot of space while conveying very little if any digestable information. It would make much more sense and impart much more practical information to specify what sorts of works (sonatas, concertos, etc.) became popular when or were rare until such and such a time or became rare after such and such a time. Specific composers or works should be used only to illustrate a specific point. The general rule is that editors should write in actual sentences and paragraphs. TheScotch (talk) 09:12, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Notice also that on the one hand this list is in neither alphabetical nor chronological order; it's in no order at all that I can make out, which makes it very difficult to read or use in any way. Notice on the other hand that while most of the works named or described are essentially oboe pieces, others are just chamber music pieces that happen to include the oboe or orchestral pieces that happen to include an oboe solo (as perhaps most full-length orchestral pieces since the middle-Romantic period do). TheScotch (talk) 09:25, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Stop wasting space by criticising. I find all of this interesting. If you don't approve, add something useful yourself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Maggwa (talkcontribs) 20:42, 2 November 2014 (UTC)


~Can someone please post here how to use the oboe vibrato (12/09/06)~

Why? This is an encyclopedia article, not an oboe method. Or if by "here" you mean on this discussion page, that isn't the place for it either. -- Rsholmes 19:45, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

It's used by creating a series of diaphragm clenches in successive movements, this makes the pitch higher, ever so slightly, and when these are in quick succession they create a vibrato. Oboe is considered one of the hardest instruments to do vibrato for, and most players will achieve it around grade 6, 7 or 8. Ahezhara 14:28, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately, many plavers create vibrato by altering the embochure (lip position on the reed); this leads to a quite "cheap" squealing vibrato. -- megA (talk) 17:57, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Two points: first, this is definitely not the venue for discussions of oboe vibrato. And secondly, the above users should not assert that there is an answer to this question - there is no clear cut answer to producing oboe vibrato. If someone wants to discuss this, I'd be glad to take the discussion offline here. Shostyscholar —Preceding undated comment added 17:32, 17 August 2010 (UTC).


I took this out as unsourced:

Long-term professional oboe playing has been claimed to be linked to brain damage because of the allegedly too high air pressure required for playing; this is no more than an urban legend.

While I have heard lots of orchestra players mention alleged damage of one kind or another (usually sinus) during the endless backstage fat-chewing sessions, I am unaware of any source either making the claim of brain damage or debunking it; if such sources exist, feel free to restore the line to the article and include the source. Antandrus 04:37, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Nothing about brain damage, but a few other maladies.
I get bloody noses from practicing very high pitched notes, as well as left ear hearing loss from sitting right next to the piccolo player --1sneakers6 (talk) 12:08, 12 January 2009 (UTC)


I was under the impression that the reason the oboe was easy to tune to was the fact that it was rich in harmonics, not poor in them. I will look into this further, and make the appropriate edit if necessary. -- --Tagith 06:59, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

List of works featuring the oboe[edit]

The list is rather repetitive, especially in the case of composers who just wrote oboe concerti and sonate. Would it be better to have, instead of a long list, a paragraph in the form: Concertos for oboe have been written by the following composers: Mozart, &c. Sonatas ...etc Other works for oboe include:

  • Berio Sequenza...

Stefan Fraczek 19.35, 17 Sep 2005

The Concerto by Alessandro Marcello is listed as "Concerto in D/C minor." I know the original work is in D minor; and that Bach wrote a transcription of it for harpsichord in C minor. Is the name fine the way it is (due to possible confusion), or should the name be altered to the original form? (NorthernFalcon 21:57, 31 March 2007 (UTC))

I'd love to see Peter and the Wolf mentioned. The oboe is the duck and this was the first place I'd ever heard an oboe. ([User:Anon[) 7.55, 3 June 2007

So we have then an objection to this list from Stefan Fraczek in this section of the discussion page, an objection from Caaristiona is the Lists? section, an objection from Edward Z. Yang in the Classical works featuring the oboe section, and my objection. I don't see anyone defending it. Is that a consensus? TheScotch (talk) 09:34, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

C-sharp 7[edit]

Is it true that the oboe can play up to C-sharp 7? I can play C7 but don't know of any fingering for a half step higher. Badagnani 00:45, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

There is a fingering for the high C-sharp in the chart at I was able to use it to produce something in the range of a C-sharp but the intonation was quite bad. Dwaldron 07:01, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I can get a top F, F# when I'm lucky. The high C-sharp is harder to play, because it's a forked fingering and forked fingerings are always awful. Ahezhara 14:28, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

I wonder if perhaps that should be changed. If this is meant as a reference, perhaps we should simply include the functional range of the instrument--for the would be composers, etc who use the page. Certainly we could get the high C-sharp out (if by no other means than by playing C7 sharp) but maybe we should focus on what one could expect to find in the repertoire, ending at F# or G. --Patrickmcg (talk) 23:34, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

The true highest note for the oboe is an oboe that can be played in tune and with an oboe sound is a C7, but the highest comfortable note for most players is an E above the staff, although F# and G can be played. Typically oboists don't bother to memorize the fingerings above that. I agree that it should be main functioning notes only, for those who don't play the oboe or don't have a lot of information on it and are wanting to write music or play the oboe. No oboist would want a composer to write a song with anything above a G in it, especially not runs, and a beginner should not be expecting to be hitting a C-sharp 7 because it's what a Wikipedia page says. Exitrith (talk) 20:41, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Correction: the A above the high G is really not difficult at all. Badagnani (talk) 18:23, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
While I agree with Badagnani personally (in terms of my being able to play that note) we should keep in mind that the information on this page needs to be based on objective sources, not personal experiences and abilities. As I stated before, it makes the most sense to deal with the range as it relates to the standard repertoire and not as it relates to personal experience. Discussing our personally abilities is a moot point. The range on the page was already changed quite some time ago to refect a more realistic range (based on the standard repertoire, method books, etudes, etc. Patrickmcg (talk) 16:49, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Agreeing with that, I think the article should recognise at least top A, which is found in the concerti by Elliot Carter (its first solo note!) and John Woolrich --Stfg (talk) 13:44, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
By "top A" do you mean A6 or A7? If A6, this is hardly worth mentioning (it is currently shown in the infobox as the extreme-top note), but A7 (on the eighth ledger-line above the treble staff) would certainly deserve notice.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 19:30, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
The Carter starts on an A6. This note is already recognized in the range picture as being the top of the oboe's range. When we were talking about this previously (see above) we were trying to get away from the idea of "what can be done" and focus more on "what is done." Even though there are fingerings for more extreme notes it doesn't make sense to post that as part of the functional range of an instrument. It might be an interesting thing to take on as part of another section. Perhaps multiphonics and extended ranges?Patrickmcg (talk) 20:57, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
D7 is possible. I'm thinking that the infobox should show A6 as the usual top, with D7 in brackets. Double sharp (talk) 16:53, 2 February 2014 (UTC)


"Setting the pitch of the oboe is achieved by changing the position of the reed in the instrument, also by permanently altering the scrape of the reed itself" - I think many players consider it bad to actually move the reed, reserving this only for emergencies. Although pulling the reed out will lower the pitch it tends to flatten some notes much more than others. The only real way to adjust the pitch of an oboe is to change reeds. Dwaldron 07:01, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Actually, I've learned to set pitch primarily through moving the reed in or out of the mouth, in addition to the tightness of the corners. Switching a :reed is only for dire emergencies in my expirience. Mike Bocek 8:21, 9 January 2006 (PST)
My experience says that it's all in the embouchure. If the reed really is performing poorly, you "alter the scrape" (i.e. take out your knife). Pulling in/out is something I almost never do, and it's supposed to be bad for the oboe because the gap between the bottom of the tube and the oboe attracts moisture. Hmmm.... — Ambush Commander(Talk) 00:15, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
My experience also calls for adjusting the ambousure. I almost never scrape, because it is permanent. Rarely will I change reeds because it takes a few minutes to wet and warm it up a bit, and I still have to adjust my ambousure for that reed. --Arithmia 01:57, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Removal of information[edit]

What is with the removal of information from the article (Henry Purcell, eight keys, dalbergia family, even harmonics, alternate soprano/mezzo soprano/alto terminology, jazz oboe link, etc. etc.)? Please use edit summaries and make smaller edits so we can follow you, and why you're doing what you're doing. Badagnani 02:09, 18 June 2006 (UTC)


If Purcell wasn't the first to specify hautbois/hautboy/oboe who was? Badagnani 06:02, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't know. But I wouldn't put it in the article unless I was sure. If it is speculation and you want to put it in the article, then say it is speculation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Arundodonax (talkcontribs)

Purcell lived from 1659 to 1695. When was the oboe first used under that name/design? Earliest uses must be mentioned in Grove or some other reference book. Badagnani 06:08, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Shakespeare references the "hautboy" in Macbeth (Act 1, Sc. 6) which was written somewhere between 1603-1607...but those reference a bombard or sop. shawm. According to Philip Bate, the "modern oboe" was introduced to England between 1674-1676. Patrickmcg (talk) 23:49, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Even and odd harmonics[edit]

This explains the even and odd harmonics for cylindrical-bored woodwind instruments. Badagnani 20:17, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

The (modern) flute behaves as an open cylindrical pipe; the clarinet as a closed cylindrical pipe. This gives them completely different normal modes; the clarinet's resonant frequencies are odd multiples of its fundamental, while the flute's are all multiples of its fundamental. "Bore" is a good term, but e.g. a clarinet's bore is not perfectly cylindrical, nor is it perfectly closed at one end, so to say its bore is a closed cylinder is not quite correct. But it does behave like a closed cylindrical pipe. -- Rsholmes 20:42, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Re: "[from the article itself, footnote #1] This is in contrast to the clarinet, whose tone emphasizes the odd-numbered harmonics, giving it a more mellow timbre." The clarinet can reasonably (if rather subjectively) be described as "mellow" in some parts of its range (especially the lowest parts) but not in others (especially not the highest parts). In any case, the notion that the odd harmonics make the clarinet or could make any instrument sound mellow strikes me as very, very dubious. If anything, odd harmonics (all else being equal) should make an instrument sound strident. Think of the term "third harmonic distortion". Think of the odd drawbars on a Hammond B-3. TheScotch 08:28, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Here is the footnoted passage: "In comparison to other modern woodwind instruments, the oboe has a very clear and somewhat piercing tone, because it expresses a large range of harmonics. Out of all of the instruments, the harmonics produced by the oboe most mimic those of the human voice." The phrase "it expresses a large range range of harmonics" doesn't make much sense; expresses is not the right word here. Furthermore, the simple wave form with all integer multiples of the fundamental present (in reciprocal dynamic proportion to their place on the series: 1/1, 1/2, 1/3, etc.) is the sawtooth, and the sawtooth is commonly said to resemble the timbre of string instruments (violin-family instruments). In short, I don't think the author of this passage has hit on the answer here as to why the oboe sounds as it does, and he would do better to leave out talk of harmonics altogether and simply describe the sound. TheScotch 08:48, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, I'm not going to wait for discussion; I'm changing these passages now. If someone can provide a sound acoustical explanation of the oboe's timbre then we can change the passages again. TheScotch 08:51, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

I've dug out a "Tone Color 'Recipes' " handout from 1978 by Jan Bach (look him up in the current Grove Dictionary of Music) compiled for his Wind and Percussion Scoring university course. It shows the spectra of various wind instruments in bar graphs. The oboe at 523cps (the octave above middle C) has a second harmonic stronger than its fundamental and not much other harmonic content except for a fairly prominant fifth harmonic. It has no seventh and eighth harmonics at all. The clarinet at 180cps (which is about halfway between a tempered F and F# below middle C--I think there's an error here) does have prominent odd harmonics, but its even harmonics (except for the second) are not entirely missing; the sixth and eighth are notably present. In general the clarinet seems to have much more harmonic content than the oboe (after the oboe's second harmonic at least). The English horn at 220cps (the A below middle C) has significantly more harmonic content than either, and a very prominent fifth harmonic (far stronger than any of its first seven harmonics, including the fundamental). TheScotch 08:41, 10 December 2006 (UTC)


What is the debate over the literal meaning of the word "hautbois"? I was not aware there was a debate. In doing some thinking, however, I am thinking it's strange that the adjective "haut" would come before the noun "bois," as in French the adjective usually comes after (as in Pays-Bas or Chien Andalou). There are similar instances of folk etymology in Asia; the Chinese conical oboe "haidi" (suona) is translated using Chinese characters for "sea flute" but the word is likely of non-Chinese origin (i.e. gaita); similarly the characters for the Chinese conical "bili" translate literally as "bamboo bugle," but this instrument's name also is probably not originally Chinese. Badagnani 09:09, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I thought "hautbois" would translate literally to "wood loud", i.e. a noise-making thing made of wood, or "loud wood", same thing. Also, some adjectives normally come before the noun: petit garçon, grandes lignes, etc. I'm not sure if haut is one of these, but haut-parleur means loudspeaker (the electrical kind), hautes études are "higher studies" (like at fr:IHES), etc. Phr (talk) 23:17, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Re: "I thought 'hautbois' would translate literally to 'wood loud' ":

I think the dispute here is in fact over the term literally. If, as you say, haut-parler means loudspeaker, it must be because the originator of the term was thinking of haut as implying high volume. (You're right, of course, about French adjectives often preceding the nouns they modify, but I wonder then why you've inverted this order in your "wood loud".) TheScotch 07:09, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

I have often heard that "hautbois" means "high wood" in French as a reference to high notes as well as a good quality oboe being made of wood. --Eddisford 19:10, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
The answer lies in simple translation: haut represents the sound, Oh. All of this is too much intellectualizing. See for yourself, click on the Francais tab at the left to see how they spell this instrument in French. Dogru144 16:20, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Unusual Ebay oboe[edit]

On ebay there is currently for sale a metal oboe. Instead of a socket for the reed, the top joint tapers off so, i'm assuming, the reed slips on, as an english horn bocal. Would this be some sort of sarrusophone, or just a really wierd oboe?

Found at: 21:07, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

The top joint just looks thin at the end because the metal is thin and all you're seeing is the diameter of the inner bore. With a wooden oboe there's more wood around the end of the instrument where the reed goes. The fingering does look like an oboe's; the soprano sarrusophone (in B-flat) has a different fingering system and a somewhat different design and bore. Metal oboes were made in the early 20th century (as were metal clarinets), probably for use in bands. I've never actually seen one so that's very cool. Are you bidding? I don't see that the person says the instrument is in working condition or plays/sounds well. Badagnani 22:19, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
It looks like an oboe to me. That's quite an interesting find you've got there, although I doubt it plays. — Edward Z. Yang(Talk) 00:30, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Mimics human voice?[edit]

I removed this:

Of all instruments, the oboe most mimics the human voice.

because I believe it is an unverifiable, subjective point of view -- unless someone can define quantitatively what it means to mimic the human voice and cite research to show the oboe does it better than anything else. Or, to quote Anthony Baines (Woodwind Instruments and Their History):

It is usually a simple matter to identify the best-loved professional wind instrument of any given epoch: it is the one which was especially likened to the human voice. At the end of the sixteenth century this was said of the cornett; at the beginning of the eighteenth, of the oboe; and now, in the early part of the nineteenth century, the distinction has passed to the clarinet. -- Rsholmes 01:40, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, I know at least one orchestration textbook that says the oboe mimics the human voice (not quite in those terms probably). It doesn't say "of all the instruments", though, just of the woodwinds. The violin is commonly said to sound most like the human voice of all instruments. TheScotch 07:14, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

To quote Leon Goossens & Edwin Roxburgh (Oboe):

Mattheson describes it in 1713, when Handel was writing magnificent Sonatas and Concerti for the instrument: 'The oboe, next to the German flute, resembles most the human voice, when it is artfully played and handled like the voice...' -- Ahezhara 11:45, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

On a side note, Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Stian Carstensen claimed that according to an old encyclopedia that he had read, the sound of the banjo most resembled the human voice. I think some of us might slightly disagree on that. But seriously, what's wrong with just writing something along the lines of "According to some musicologists ..." or "It is often said that ..."? — Pladask 18:21, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

First, the phrase "It is often said that... " often is used in an attempt to weasel a non neutral point of view into the text. Second, I don't see that the claim imparts any useful information -- especially since the passages quoted above suggest the same could be said about many if not most other instruments. -- Rsholmes 08:28, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

I was listening to Clara Rockmore's theremin record Christmas, and, boy, did that sound remarkably like a human voice (a human voice with a bit too much vibrato, actually), except when it got extremely high or when it got fairly low. When it got fairly low it sounded remarkably like a viola, buzzy in that way. Anyway, if vintage electronic instruments are allowed, I vote for the theremin. TheScotch 07:48, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

That seems a bit tangential, but here's what I'm getting at: I can easily imagine someone mistaking the theremin for a woman's voice (at least the way Clara Rockmore plays it), but I can't possibly imagine someone mistaking the oboe for a voice. I think, then, that if we're going to point out the oboe's alleged similarity to the voice, we need to say in what respect. How is the oboe like a voice? What makes it like a voice? TheScotch 07:51, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Open E Hole[edit]

The text contains a statement saying: most of the professional models have at least the right hand third key open holed. This is not strictly correct. The double ring mechanism of the RH 3rd finger E key is designed to actually lengthen the hole and keep E in tune, when the LH E-flat key is pressed. The plateau system is almost entirely closed-hole. Take a close look at a new Lauree and you will see that even the small 2-mm holes in the keywork are in fact mostly sealed. An open hole is when the finger is used to close the tone-hole in the wooden body of the instrument, as is common in recorders. Some older Howarth models had this system, and used rings around the open tone-hole to operate many of the mechanisms (the finger depresses the ring while sealing the tone-hole). Jhoyla 14:18, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Oboe Measurements[edit]

I think it would be worthwhile for the article to mention the length of an average oboe, since it is difficult to get a sense of size simply from the pictures. Also, it might be well to mention the size of other oboes.--Vlmastra 22:45, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

I found that the oboe has a length of 65 cm (without the double-reed), the oboe d'amore has 72,5 cm and the english horn has 96 cm. But I would please a other person to write this in the article, because my english is not the best(you can see it here)-- Bastihitzi 24 May 2007 19:52 (MESZ)

Classical works featuring the oboe[edit]

Can somebody tell me the point of this list? Assuming it has a point, can someone justify its length? TheScotch 09:57, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, Wikipedia, being an indiscriminate collection of knowledge, absolutely has to catalog the oboe repertoire. I'd say ax it, but some of those pieces definitely should be mentioned within the article (no oboe article is complete without Six Metamorphoses after Ovid). — Edward Z. Yang(Talk) 03:29, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Somebody with a log in may want to consider renaming this list- you cannot call it a 'Classical works' list when it includes composers from outside the Classical period (music) For example, J.S Bach was not a classical composer, he was a Baroque composer. 06:28, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

There is an oboe solo in Les Miserables during the sewrers section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:07, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Re: "I'd say ax it, but some of those pieces definitely should be mentioned within the article (no oboe article is complete without Six Metamorphoses after Ovid)."
They can be mentioned, before or after the axing, which I will undertake shortly unless someone first musters an argument in the list's defense. TheScotch (talk) 09:40, 6 May 2011 (UTC)


Every orchestration and band scoring text I've seen counts the low Bb as a legitimate and normal part of the oboe's range. It seems to me questionable for it to appear in the chart on this page with a small notehead as if it were somehow exceptional. TheScotch 06:55, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Some student oboes don't have a low B-flat key. Badagnani 17:54, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Can you give me a citation, please? TheScotch 23:28, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

The cheapest Bundy (an American-made brand of student oboe) instruments have only a low B key, not a B-flat. Presumably it's to save metal or whatever. My first instrument, instead of having a low B-flat key, had two holes, one on either side of the bell. Presumably one was supposed to squeeze one's legs around the bell to produce the B-flat. It was quite comical. You're apparently more interested than me in "proving" this, however, because I already know it from experience, so I'm sure it won't be difficult for you to Google this information. Badagnani 01:29, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm interested in what you have to say about, especially when you are more specific. If either of is to prove it, however, I should think it incumbent more on you than on me, since you're the one who makes the assertion. In any case, I don't consider Google-ing a way of proving this or anything else: Anyone can put anything he likes on the Internet, and when he does he frequently doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. If I Google "oboe", for example, I'm very likely to be led back to wikipedia.

Let's put that aside for the moment. Answer me these: Do you consider the small Bb notehead justified then? Do you consider the oboe's low Bb comparable to the flute's low B? TheScotch 09:45, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

If you have good Google skills, you'll find exactly what you're looking for. I recommend that you stop wasting ink and just do it. The Internet is a library of sorts, if you know how to use and evaluate sites and search engines. I would say that all oboists beyond a student level in the late 20th and early 21st centuries have a B-flat key on their instrument. It's just student oboists and oboists from earlier eras who don't/didn't have that pitch. Badagnani 16:00, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

About the Internet you are both very rude and dead wrong. The Internet has often been described as "the wild west", and this characterization seems to me to be apt. The Internet is certainly very far from authoritative and anyone who would call it authoritative is criminally irresponsible. TheScotch 06:22, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Please maintain a tone of civility during this discussion.
I would tend to favor Bb as a completely legitimate key on the oboe. I can dig up some authoritative print material on the subject of composing to determine the ranges of oboe. Any of the older texts (the Barret Oboe Method is one I have on hand) will definitely tell you that Bb is the lowest note ("The compass of this instrument ranges from Bb to G alt" (Barret 1)). While oboists tend to find new and inventive ways of pushing the upper register of the oboe (I would expect that to be more contentious), Bb is the lower limit. — Edward Z. Yang(Talk) 03:26, 30 May 2007 (UTC)


Re: "It's just student oboists and oboists from earlier eras who don't/didn't have that pitch.":

I'm not sure what exactly is meant by "student" here, that is, I'm not sure what level of study we're talking about, but I'm guessing these students are probably not college music students, and if that's the case we may be approaching consensus. When we do achieve consensus (if we do), I won't be able to change the range image myself--at least not without instruction. TheScotch 07:05, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm speaking of middle school and high school students, who would be most like to have instruments with no B-flat key. Such instruments are still out there and being used. I began on one of these instruments. University students who are playing oboe as an oboe major, or even playing in band or orchestra, would most likely have an instrument with the low B-flat key. Badagnani 07:10, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

If I'm not mistaken, the Viennese oboe (used by the Vienna Philharmonic) has only B natural. I am actually more concerned with the highest pitch, which is usually expected for an orchestra player to be g‘‘‘. Anything above requires special embochure techniques and these notes are not consistently found even with experienced players. (Such as not everyone is trained in circular breathing, despite it being a technique sometimes used with the oboe.) -- megA (talk) 18:20, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

High A is not difficult, although the G-sharp between high G and A is something I've never been able to get. High C is the one that takes a special technique (biting on the reed), but I've never gotten B-flat or B natural. Badagnani (talk) 22:00, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Shouldn't it be G or A with a smaller C in the diagram then? (I should try out A on the oboe then - never thought about that since I never needed it...) -- megA (talk) 13:41, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Regardless of what is possible, the functional range of the oboe pretty much stops at G or G#--functional in that this is what you are likely to run into in the repertoire. Perhaps the range "picture" on the page needs to reflect this as the text does. The article already states that The commonly accepted range for the oboe extends from b♭3 to about g6, over two and a half octaves, though its common tessitura lies from c4 to e♭6. which I believe to be most accurate. Yes, you can purchase an oboe with a low A, and some student models come with only a low B; yes, we can argue on the necessary techniques and myriad fingerings necessary to produce a high-Bb (the fingering I 'use' necessitates moving the left hand down in order to manipulate enough keys) but in reality, you won't find much in the standard repertoire that ventures that high. If the would be composer were to use this page in order to hunt down information on the oboe's range, that person would be missinformed by scoring a C7 for the oboe. Patrickmcg (talk) 18:51, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

No, high A is easy. I've never gotten high B-flat or B, but C is also very easy to get, even by an intermediate oboist, by placing the teeth on the reed. I've heard entire oboe studios doing it after learning the fingering. How exactly do you get B-flat and B? I've tried from fingering charts but never produced these pitches. Badagnani (talk) 18:55, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
I wasn't saying that it was difficult, just pointing out that the "standard" range in the rep. won't venture into that area much. That's why I think we should change the range picture to show that. I've made a graphic that shows the range to g6, but I'm not sure how to upload it...and it's not a vectors graphic, so someone would have to change it.Patrickmcg (talk) 22:27, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Contemporary solo and orchestral music, at least in the last quarter of the 20th century, does call for high A (but nothing higher that I've seen). Badagnani (talk) 22:38, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Here's one--watch this video. Badagnani (talk) 22:41, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
I just realized that the range chart gives high C-sharp as the highest note. Who put that there? I've never heard of anything higher than the high C gotten by biting the reed. Badagnani (talk) 22:42, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Which is why I brought this up in the first place. It is unnecessary for the range chart to show that as the top of the oboe range because it's unrealisitic. Perhaps as a parenthetical not next to a realistic "top of the range" but it seems to make sense to stop around G as the top of the range. Patrickmcg (talk) 05:46, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, again, high A is quite easy and is used. G is pretty easy too; it's G-sharp in between that's a little harder. I usually hit G first, then pull off my left middle finger to get it up to G-sharp. But high A is easy to hit "cold." Badagnani (talk) 06:54, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
My point is that the article says one thing while the graphic says another. The C on the graphic is not totally accurate. One can squeak out many notes with myriad different fingerings, but as far as an encyclopediac entry goes this stretches things a bit. What is "easy" to play is beside the point because it's incredibly subjective. I suggest that the range be changed to reflect what is comment in common repertoire. I suggest checking some sources (Barret, Vade Macum, Ferling, Brod, Bozza, et al) to determine range based on the ranges of the etudes and studies. That would be relatively definitive in that it would be based on the standard rep. (and as much as I enjoy the Carter, I don't know that it'd be considered conservatory "standard".)Patrickmcg (talk) 04:52, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Maybe we ought to include a small bit on "extended range" and other techniques (multiphonics, harmonic fingerings, etc.)Patrickmcg (talk) 04:52, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
OK, I've got an idea. For the high note in the chart, put G, then put A in parentheses above it. That should solve it. I don't believe the C is used by any composers (it sounds horrible). Badagnani (talk) 04:59, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
That looks good. Badagnani (talk) 05:45, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Tuning to the oboe[edit]

Why is it that orchestras tune to the oboe? Is there something inherently stable about the tuning of the oboe? Jesushouston 00:53, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Oboe has the least amount of overtones out of orchestral instrumentation, so it gives the "purest" sound. — Edward Z. Yang(Talk) 03:17, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Can this be added to the actual article? Jesushouston 21:49, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Not without a proper source! :-) — Edward Z. Yang(Talk) 00:57, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

I saw this explanation of why orchestras tune to the oboe: It seems quite plausible, but I don't know if it is a "proper source." Anderstamc 21:54, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia may or may not regard such a source as "proper", but I would not personally put much credence in an article that claims wind bands normally tune to a B-natural! (The explanation about "lengthening or shortening the reed itself" being the only way an oboist can change the pitch of his instrument is also the kind of oversimplification that can only be made by someone who has never played the oboe.)—-- Jerome Kohl (talk) 16:50, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
The claim that oboists cannot easily change their pitch is absolutely asinine! The oboe reed is mounted on a tube which can be slid in and out of the instrument (easier than a clarinet mouthpiece) in order to adjust the pitch. Furthermore, by changing his lip pressure, the oboist can "bend" the tone up or down by up to a quarter tone. (And the oboe tends to change its pitch over time, depending on temperature, moisture etc., which has to be countered by the oboist.) So an explanation could be that an oboist, because of the pitch instability of his instrument, must have an acute sense of pitch and therefore is able to give a reliable A. Maybe. -- megA (talk) 18:12, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

I've edited this section with a citation. I think we ought to remove the following section about how the pitch might be adjusted; The pitch of the oboe may be adjusted by permanently altering the scrape, removing cane from the reed, or changing the position of the reed in the instrument (although the latter method should only be used as a last resort, because adjusting the position of the reed may cause some notes to warble). Subtle changes in the pitch are also possible by adjusting the embouchure. I agree that these are ways to adjust the pitch, but they're unsubstantiated and it seems rather irrelevant for this article. I suggest it be deleted from here and perhaps worked into the article reed. Patrickmcg (talk) 18:54, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

In the sentence below, I removed the phrase "and concert bands" and the related "Failed verification" tag. The article as edited now refers only to how orchestras tune, which is verified in the source. I am no expert in oboes or bands, but from what I have read, although there are different ideas about how to tune a concert band, they do NOT typically tune to an A at all. Since the statement is 1) unsourced, 2) nobody that I could find seems to agree with it, and 3) it is unnecessary... I removed it. In case anybody objects, though, here is the sentence that I changed -- including its (well-written) "Failed verification" tag --:
Orchestras and concert bands frequently tune to a concert A played by the oboe.[1][not in citation given]
David Couch (talk) 03:06, 16 November 2014 (UTC)


I have semi-protected this page due to persistent vandalism from multiple sources. — Edward Z. Yang(Talk) 02:49, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Why would someone vandalize an article about oboes? That's idiotic.

Popular culture[edit]

A player of the pink oboe does not always refer to a homosexual, indeed it is somwhat homophobic to assume so. More often than not it is an alternative to the word 'wanker'. Peter Cook coined the term as a general male sexual slur... However in common usage it refers not to a homosexual but a derogatory term for a masterbator. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:26, August 29, 2007 (UTC)

The term homophobia should properly mean clinical fear of sameness . In any case, I've taken the liberty of removing this entire "Popular culture" section, none of which is germane and all of which is inane. TheScotch 17:14, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Removal of Lully[edit]

This edit was very poorly advised, due to the well documented history of Lully and the hautbois! Badagnani 00:13, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

From Grove "Oboe" article (which Lully is all over): "Lully probably began using an early form of hautboy in his ballet L'amour malade in 1657." Lully's name should not have been blanked from the article. Badagnani 01:13, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Fair enough, please feel free to restore Lully, preferably with that citation from Grove. Unfortunately, "an early form of hautboy" could refer to some transitional instrument, or even to something like the (in)famous "deutsche Schalmei", rather than the newly designed hautbois. If Marcuse is correct, and the new instrument was devised in that same year by Jean Hotteterre and Michel Philidor, and this "early form of hautboy" can be tied directly to this new invention, it would be an interesting speculation whether Lully may have had some input, or whether on the other hand he was simply very quick to pick up on the new technology. However, Wikipedia policy requires NOR and, in consequence, citation of sources.--Jerome Kohl 03:18, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Whatever the case, Lully is all over the Grove article. Badagnani 03:37, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't doubt you, though I have not taken a look at it. The issue is: does Grove say that Lully sponsored the redesign, or does it merely say that he used the instrument, once it had been devised?--Jerome Kohl 03:43, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

It's implied that Lully required a type of shawm that would blend in range and dynamic level with strings, something that hadn't been done before. The instruments of the late 1650s through 1670, in examining the iconographic evidence, are similar to shawms and Lully didn't use double reeds from 1657 to 1670. In 1670 he began using the new hautbois, and they appear in an illustration from 1672. The legwork of creating the actual instruments is credited to the Philidor and Hottetere families (woodwind experts), while Lully is the one who seems to have been in charge of telling them what he needed. Badagnani 04:05, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Hmm. Iconographic evidence aside, first you quote Grove as saying Lully used "an early form of hautboy" in 1657 (the same year Marcuse says J. Hotteterre et cie invented the oboe), and now you are saying some unspecified source says Lully eschewed double reeds from 1657 to 1670, when he started using the "new hautbois". Now, why would he have stopped using double reeds in the very year J. Hotteterre et cie allegedly invented the oboe, and then held fire for thirteen years before (reluctantly?) resuming composing for these instruments? I'd say you had better get your sources staight here.--Jerome Kohl 04:47, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

In popular music[edit]

The examples in popular music should probably focus on bands that have an oboist in the band. Someone (maybe a few months ago) went and changed this from prose to a bulleted list, and it might be changed back to prose. Badagnani (talk) 07:34, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

The repeated blanking removed Sufjan Stevens and Sigur Ros, some of the most important users who were formerly mentioned in text (which was converted, probably wrongly, into bullet points). Please use your editing to actually improve the article, not deplete it from such important information. Badagnani (talk) 17:56, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

A random list of all pieces including the oboe is not "important information". It's mindless clutter. TheScotch (talk) 07:08, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Please edit in a thoughtful manner. Your blanking (removing key groups who feature an oboist in the band) was not a good example of such editing. In fact, from your comment I don't believe you have even read (or even skimmed) my comment above. Badagnani (talk) 07:17, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

This was the original text:

The oboe has been used sporadically in rock recordings (generally by studio musicians on recordings of specific songs such as "Hergest Ridge" by Mike Oldfield), though a few bands have featured oboists as members. Such bands include Henry Cow, Roxy Music, and Sigur Rós (although the oboists in these bands generally used the oboe as a secondary instrument, not playing it on every song). The work of the indie rock musician Sufjan Stevens (who also plays cor anglais and often overdubs both instruments on his albums) is also notable.
The American rock band REM features the oboe in several tracks of their 1991 album Out of Time (most notably as the lead melodic instrument on the wordless song "Endgame"), as well as on four tracks of their 1992 album Automatic for the People. The oboe is also featured in the Stereophonics' 2001 cover of "Handbags and Gladrags" by Rod Stewart. Jarlaath, the vocalist of the French gothic metal band Penumbra, plays the oboe in a number of the band's songs, as does Robbie J. de Klerk, the vocalist of the Dutch melodic doom/death metal band Another Messiah. Queen's song "It's A Beautiful Day," which appears on the group's 1995 album Made in Heaven, contains an oboe part (this oboe part was bassist John Deacon's idea).

Badagnani (talk) 18:32, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Hello, I think I can come up with some songs by psychedelic rock band Hawkwind that contain audible oboe pieces. I have no idea if it would be considered suitable for the article, but the mention of its use in popular music, particularly one song by Queen, made me think they might make a nice addition to the list. In particular, I'm thinking of the songs The Golden Void and D-Rider, mostly earlier material rather than their post-1977 material. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:22, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Pitch very hard to adjust?[edit]

The article claims in the sound section, that the orchestra tunes to the oboe

3/ because its pitch is very hard to adjust- see just below.

The pitch of the oboe may be adjusted by permanently altering the scrape, removing cane from the reed, or changing the position of the reed in the instrument (although the latter method should only be used as a last resort, because adjusting the position of the reed may cause some notes to warble). Subtle changes in the pitch are also possible by adjusting the embouchure.

In my experience as a some-time professional oboe player who usually makes his own reeds, the pitch is very easy to adjust (by adjusting the embouchure or pulling the reed slightly out of the instrument) and very sensitive to temperature, humidity and embouchure changes. (The pitch can be bent up to about a quarter-tone by altering the embouchure) So the claim that (a) the pitch is hard to adjust and (b) this is one of the reasons why the orchestra tunes to the oboe seems untrue to me. The oboe's pitch is easier to adjust (and easier to be bent out of shape) than that of the clarinet, for example. The way the article looks now, oboists would have to "tune" their instruments at every rehearsal/concert by scraping around on their reed. this is, in fact something that is done (a) during construction of the reed by the player and (b) sometimes during rehearsal, if the player notices inconsistencies or anomalies in the behaviour of the reed (not necessarily tuning problems). The oboe can be tuned by scraping away on the reed, but that is not the main reason do do it and not a feasible method if you have rehearsals/concerts every day. Imagine the player to have to re-scrape his reed after every rehearsal break. BTW, if you choose to use wire for clamping, changing the tension or shape of the clamp can also change the tuning (but also affects the sensitivity of the reed). -- megA (talk) 13:38, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

I feel as though all of the reasons regarding WHY the orchestra tunes to the oboe could be deleted as it seems speculative and subjective. The pitch of the oboe, or any other instrument, can be changed in a myriad of ways and (for the most part) it is no more or less hard on the oboe than on any other instrument. It doesn't really explain why an orchestra might tune to the oboe. Patrickmcg (talk) 00:07, 24 December 2008 (UTC)[edit]

Is a blog about oboe playing a reliable source? ...Ω.....¿TooT?....¡StatS!.. 02:41, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

See: Wikipedia:Verifiability#Self-published_sources.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 03:49, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
"...material may sometimes be cited which is self-published by an established expert on the topic of the article, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications." I would deem it unfit, but then I'd be sad to see it go, as it's my old oboe teacher's website. :I ...Ω.....¿TooT?....¡StatS!.. 01:45, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
The question was about blogs. If the material "has previously been published by reliable third-party publications", or if related material endorsing the source has been so published, why not cite it instead of the blog?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 04:22, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
So I said, "I would deem it unfit." But, currently, we have no better alternatives...Any suggestions or recommendations? ...Ω.....¿TooT?....¡StatS!.. 01:16, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
I misunderstood you to have said the material was published in a reliable third-party publication, but that you were acknowledging the blog itself is unfit. Well, how about using the information in the blog to try and track down better sources. I haven't looked at, but if the information found there is unique, that presents a real quandary.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 01:57, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
I'll take a look at it. I know Patty to keep plenty of links and refs to well known musical sites. Anyways, I'll give a status update on my searches soon. Thanks for the help. ...Ω.....¿TooT?....¡StatS!.. 03:04, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Wooden reeds?[edit]

The article now refers to wooden reeds. I have never seen or heard of a wooden oboe reed. Rachel Pearce (talk) 10:48, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Are you sure you're not splitting hairs over some subtle difference of terminology? What I understand by "wooden" is that it's made of some sort of botanical material and not some synthetic facsimile. Now, I wouldn't call real apple pie "wooden," but wind instrument reeds do look wooden to me. But I don't play any wind instrument, so I'm just going off the pictures here. Willi Gers07 (talk) 20:21, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't think this is technical hair-splitting at all. "Wooden reeds" sounds to me like they must be carved from birch or maple or something. Arundo donax (from which oboe reeds are made) is a giant cane or reed—more of a grass than a tree!—Jerome Kohl (talk) 20:44, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, that is a bigger difference than I previously thought. Still, from the pictures I've seen in books and on the Web, oboe reeds look more like two strips of plywood bound together than like two blades of grass bound together. But I'm not an expert on either oboe playing or botany, so...
don't let me stop you from changing "wooden" to a more accurate adjective. Willi Gers07 (talk) 19:55, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Questions about reeds section[edit]

Does anyone else find it odd that about half the discussion of reeds is devoted to Fibercane reeds? I know they are available, but I don't personally know too many who have used them, even as beginners. I think store-bought cane reeds are the most commonly used, so why so much discussion about Fibercane? It seems like the most natural progression would be from store-bought reeds to hand-made reeds, not Fibercane to store-bought cane to handmade reeds.

Also, would it be beneficial to have a brief description on how an oboist goes about making a reed? And the names of the tools used? Also, would it be beneficial to discuss American scrape, French scrape, etc? And the "parts" of the reed--heart, sides, windows, tip, etc?—Emersonsteve (talk) 21:23, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the prominence given to Fibercane (tm) reeds seems excessive, and may well amount to promotion of a commercial product (i.e., spam). I also agree that some further details of variations in reed scrape (French, German, Viennese, etc.—I'm not sure that there is a distinctive American scrape, though I could be wrong) would be useful. There is a danger of going too far, however, and turning this into a "how-to" manual. I'm sure this won't happen, of course.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 05:18, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
I'll try to expand this section and clean up the Fibercane parts. There actually is a distinct American scrape reed! Emersonsteve (talk) 02:57, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
It wouldn't hurt to have a "brief description on how an oboist goes about making a reed" and "the names of the tools used." Especially given that, as I very recently learned, reeds are not wooden, to let the common folk understand how making reeds differs from making woodprints or woodcarvings. But talking about the different styles of scrapes is starting to get into very specialized territory, and it might suffice to say that there are different styles in different countries. Willi Gers07 (talk) 20:51, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
I think you should improve the History section, instead of reeds. BTW, as you said there are different styles of scraping: In the US a W shape is used, in Spain, as well as other countries, a U shpae is used. The amount of reed scraped also varies. The sound wanted involves a style or other. I am the Spanish FA writter, if you need any help or made me any suggestion to improve es:Oboe, please let me know. OboeCrack (talk) 18:54, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
When you say "you should improve the History section, instead of reeds," are you talking to Emersonsteve or to me? I don't play the oboe, and my knowledge of oboe history is pretty much limited to what is reflected in the core classical repertoire (Mozart's concerto, Vivaldi's, etc.) Willi Gers07 (talk) 15:19, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I start learning oboe last year as an adult. After three monthes my teacher learn me to build and scrap my reeds. And she didn't hear about fibercane reeds. I saw a fibercane reed of a baryton saxophone but not yet for oboe. Where do you saw a fibercane reed ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:12, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

The oboe in popular culture[edit]

I think this section, altough it has references, it doesn't make any sense here. Only the Peter and The Wolf fact. The other ones are non-important. As the Spanish FA writer for Oboe I feel qualified to say that. OboeCrack (talk) 23:08, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Maybe it doesn't make sense as a group, bound together only by being about the oboe. Perhaps some of these items might make more sense in different sections of the article. Unless they're duplicates, in which case (the only case) it would be acceptable to just delete them from that section. Willi Gers07 (talk) 17:33, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Below is the section as of 4/30/11:

In popular culture, the oboe is commonly associated (sometimes negatively) with the sound of a duck, a stereotype which was established most notably in Sergei Prokofiev's 1936 composition Peter and the Wolf, a children's orchestral work in which the oboe "plays" the duck character. Young children's literature also reinforces this connection. ["Moo-Moo Went the Tuba"] Research has shown that among young instrumentalists, the flute, clarinet, and oboe are considered feminine instruments, even though boys favored the sound of the oboe, English horn and bassoon over that of other wind instruments.["Influences of Gender and Sex-Stereotyping of Middle School Students' Perception and Selection of Musical Instruments: A Review of the Literature"] Among the orchestral community, oboists are known for their perfectionism when it comes to the selection of reeds, hence the famous oboe joke, "How many oboists does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, but he may have to sort through 30 or 40 bulbs to find the right one."

The phrase "in popular culture" is usually in Wikipedia a euphemism for trivia, which makes all such sections automatically suspect. Here a reference to Peter and the Wolf could certainly be reasonably inserted in the article, but this particular reference is extremely awkward. If anyone can think of a better way to mention the piece, please do. The "oboe as duck in children's literature" argument is at best irrelevant. In any case, one example does not a genre make. (It's only the very lowest part of the oboe's range that quacks, by the way.) The putative femininity of the oboe and various other wind instruments is simply a gratuitous insult to male musicians, and the citation in no way justifies it. (Gender, by the way, is properly a grammatical term only.) The oboe joke is also entirely irrelevant and entirely an insult to oboists of both sexes (sexes is the proper term here--the human race has two: male and female).TheScotch (talk) 08:53, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

For the record, this particular telling of the oboe joke is atrocious. The punch line would have been ruined by the repetition of the word one were it not already ruined--by the repetition of the word bulb and by not specifying that the sorting is to find the replacement. TheScotch (talk) 09:05, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Reed Section[edit]

The tone of this section does not fit the tone of the parts of the article preceding it. I suggest a reworking of this section to make it less conversational and more academic. It's very poorly cited and some of the information is unnecessary. As I have more time, I'd like to work on it, but I thought discussion should occur first. Patrickmcg (talk) 16:35, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

I just read that section today, and I think fibercane reeds are significantly overemphasized. I am an oboists, and I and the other oboists I know all started playing oboe on actual reeds. There are companies that make them cheaply for about $9-10 a reed. The directors and teachers I have had would not start a beginner on fibercane reeds. I would like to shorten the part of the article discussing them, which I will do if no one has any objections. MarianKroy (talk) 17:57, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

As you will have noticed, this section has been contentious for some time. I am not one of the major editors of this article, though I do keep an eye on it. You certainly have my permission to, erm, "scrape away" at the fibercane sentences. In particular, I would like to see a source for the claim that fibercane reeds are "easier to control" than cane reeds. My own oboe-playing days are long past, and my experience with non-cane oboe reeds is minimal, but my recollection was that fibercane could scarcely be characterized this way.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 18:18, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

I think that any editing that might make this section less anecdotal would be greatly appreciated. Too much of it seems to be sweeping generalization based on personal experience rather than objective, scholarly sources. Just my two cents. :) Patrickmcg (talk) 20:01, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

The Sprightly Companion[edit]

I edited out a reference to this, believing it to have originated from a joke in Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide To The Orchestra. However, after Googling the title, references to the book seem to predate this: it is mentioned in this book on Purcell, for example. Very little else seems to have been quoted from it; can anyone shed any light on whether such a publication exists? CavalcadeOfWhimsy (talk) 22:42, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes, it exists, all right. It is RISM 169514, printed by J. Heptinstall for Henry Playford in 1695. The full title is The Sprightly Companion: Being a Collection of the Best Foreign Marches, Now Play'd in all Camps, with Two Farewells at the Funeral of the Late Queen, One of Four Parts, by Mr. Peasible, the Other of Three Parts by Mr. Tollett, and Several other Tunes. Designed Chiefly for the Hautboy, Yet Proper for the Flute, Violin, and Other Instruments; also Plain and Easy Directions for Playing on the Hautboy. You will find references to it as "the first oboe tutor" in the New Grove articles on "Bannister, John (ii)" (who signed the preface to it), "March", and "Cibell". A facsimile edition with a preface by Peter Hedrick, under the imprint Early Music Facsimiles (Historical Oboe Tutor Series 1), was published first in 1983 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, then in 1987 in Columbus, Ohio.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 20:23, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Historical ranges are probably incorrect: c1?[edit]

The article currently states the range of early oboes is c1 to d3. This would make them very very low instruments indeed. There are other examples right out there in the open. Since I am not the maintainer of this article and I shrink from controversy, I hope someone reads this here and updates the article.Ohmiwik (talk) 02:35, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

The article states this range for the Baroque oboe; for the Classical oboe the range is said to be c1 to f3. Depending on the notational conventions, this could indeed be extraordinarily low for any oboe. One supposes, however, that c1 is meant to refer to middle C (rather than the bottom note of the contrabassoon), which puts d3 at the D above the second leger-line above the treble clef, and f3 a minor third higher still. All that is needed here is a source (or, perhaps, two sources), not a "maintainer of the article", which doesn't exist, except inasmuch as you and I may participate in this function. Surely this cannot be difficult.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 04:26, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
This brings up good point. Is there a standard note naming convention that is being used throughout wikipedia? What's referenced above must be the Helmholtz system, but previously the American standard is used. Like Jerome said, it'd be easy enough to get a source to support the range of an early oboe, but which system ought we use?Patrickmcg (talk) 03:07, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
The short answer is no, there is no Wikipedia standard for pitch notation. It would be handy in cases like this to be able to say, "You are using somebody else's register-numbering system, see Wikipedi:Manual of style#Musical_pitch_register_notation", but I think trying to get editorial consensus on this would be only slightly more difficult than obtaining agreement on an official Wikipedia policy on the technique of herding cats. In the meantime, the best that we can do is to ensure consistency within any one article and—where necessary—add a warning note about which system is being used.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 05:39, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Since it is used later in the article, I'm going to change the above range to the American/scientific system and then put a link to the American system.Patrickmcg (talk) 14:11, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Already done. Perhaps the link could be done a different way, if you find my solution less than optimal.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 01:35, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Looks good! Patrickmcg (talk) 02:19, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

This doesn't actually belong here, but a safer way to distinguish between scientific and Helmholtz notation would be to write Helmholtz names in their customary way as (for example) g'', or g2, not g2. The first method would of course interfere with Wiki markup... -- megA (talk) 16:10, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

"mezzo oboe"?[edit]

The caption for the picture in the "other members of the oboe family" section calls the "standard" oboe "mezzo oboe". I've never heard that name for the standard oboe, and it is confusing because the oboe d'amore is also called the "mezzo-soprano" member of the oboe family. The oboe's range would IMO also be better described as soprano range, not mezzo-soprano... -- megA (talk) 16:02, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Done. --Enst38 (talk) 09:55, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. -- megA (talk) 22:31, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Thomas, Julia. "Executive Director of the Rockford Symphony Orchestra". Rockford Symphony Orchestra. Rockford Symphony Orchestra. Retrieved October 20, 2014.