MUS 215

Oboe

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OBOE:  double reed instrument with conical bore; overtone series based on the octave.

OBOE FAMILY:

Oboe (in C) English Horn (in F)

The oboe sounds where written.

The English horn sounds a perfect 5th lower than the written pitch.

WRITTEN RANGE:

FOREIGN TERMS:

ABBREV. ENGLISH GERMAN FRENCH ITALIAN
Ob., Hb. Oboe(s) Oboe
Oboen
Hautbois Oboe
Oboi
E.H. English Horn Englisch Horn Cor anglais Corno Inglese

While some  music educators have contended through the years that the oboe is not a desirable beginning instrument and that one should first play another woodwind, there are many players who believe that the oboe is a perfectly acceptable instrument on which to begin applied study.  

PARTS OF THE OBOE:  (1) double reed, (2) upper joint, (3) lower joint, (4) bell.

HOLDING POSITION:  (1) The instrument is held directly in the center of the front of the body at a 40-degree angle to the body.  (2) The weight of the instrument is on the right thumb, balanced between the right and left thumbs and the embouchure.  (3) The right thumb contacts the thumb rest at the base of the nail.  (4) The left thumb is placed at almost a right angle across the instrument so that the fleshy part of the ball is against the body of the instrument, and the side just touching the octave key.  (5) Little fingers remain over their respective plateau keys.  (6) Fingers remain naturally curved.

EMBOUCHURE:  (1) Keep the lips relaxed.  Drop the jaw so that the teeth are about a half-inch apart.  (2) Place the tip of the reed at the center of the lower lip. (3) Roll the lower lip over the teeth until the tip of the reed protrudes just past the lip.  (4) Bring the upper lip barely over the teeth.  (5) Bring the lips together, pushing the corners of the mouth slightly toward the reed so that it is supported with slight pressure from all directions.  (6) The lower jaw must be kept open so that there is no pressure against the reed from the lower teeth.  (7) Only about 1/8th of an inch of the reed protrudes past the inside of the lips so that it can be tongued.

TUNING WHILE PLAYING:  (1) Contracting the embouchure around the reed to increase pressure will sharpen the pitch.  (2) Relaxing the embouchure around the reed will flatten the pitch.

THE FOLLOWING NOTES TEND TO BE SHARP:

THE FOLLOWING NOTES TEND TO BE FLAT:

BRANDS:  Good student brands (American):  Linton, Bundy, Signet, Conn, Lesher.  Semi-professional American brands:  Larilee, Renard (Fox), Selmer, Caputo, Miraphone.  Semi-professional foreign brands:  Strasser, Chauvet (Gordet), Benwal, Cabart (Loree).  Professional American brands:  Laubin, Covey, Fox.  Professional foreign brands:  Loree, Gordet, Marigaux, Rigoutat.

HISTORICAL TIDBITS:

Next to the flute, the oboe is probably the most ancient instrument.  Its invention predates recorded history.

The English horn in F was invented in 1760 by Ferlandis of Bergamo.

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