The regular oboe first appeared in the mid-17th century, when it was called a hautbois. Music for the standard oboe is written in concert pitch (i.e., it is not a transposing instrument), and the instrument has a soprano range, usually from B♭3 to G6. Subtle manipulation of embouchure and air pressure allows the oboist to express timbre and dynamics. Although the oboe was used almost exclusively in the orchestra in the 19th century, 20th century composers rediscovered the instrument’s potential as a solo instrument. Their oboe design became the quintessential model used at the Paris Music Conservatory. Some student oboes only extend down to B3 (the key for B♭ is not present). In the Europe of the early middle ages, however, an instrument was in use that consisted of a single tube and was known as the calamus (calamus is the Latin word for reed). From that point on the hautboy flourished, its heyday lasting until the end of the 18th century.  The reed is considered the part of oboe that makes the instrument so difficult because the individual nature of each reed means that it is hard to achieve a consistent sound. With the birth of jazz fusion in the late 1960s, and its continuous development through the following decade, the oboe became somewhat more prominent, replacing on some occasions the saxophone as the focal point. Some parts of this system were subsequently adapted for use on the other woodwind instruments, although a radically altered Boehm oboe failed to gain acceptance on account of its novel sound (as did a Boehm bassoon). Advanced Professional Level String Basses, Most Popular Electric Stringed Instruments, Woodwind Maintenance and Cleaning Supplies, Fiberglass and Carbon Fiber Woodwind Cases, Brass Instrument Brushes and Cleaning Tools, Brass Instrument Maintenance and Cleaning Supplies, Instrument Stands, Stabilizers & Transport. It was used at first to double the lines of the violins before composers began creating its solo repertoire. The tube, which was made of boxwood and on the shawm had been a single piece, now consisted of three parts, the upper and lower joints and the bell. The standard oboe has several siblings of various sizes and playing ranges. The hautbois also came apart into three sections and had more keys than the shawm. This name was also used for its predecessor, the shawm, from which the basic form of the hautbois was derived.  It was the main melody instrument in early military bands, until it was succeeded by the clarinet.. All Rights Reserved. This page was last edited on 2 October 2020, at 04:48. A direct result of these measures was an increase in range: whereas the instrument’s range was given as C4 to D6 at the turn of the 18th century it increased during the next hundred years to G6. The "modern oboe" was developed by the Triebert family in the later part of the 18th century.  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". 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. Courtesy of Heinz Preiss (Musikinstrumentenmuseum Schloss Kremsegg, Austria, Sammlung Streitwieser).  The rich timbre is derived from its conical bore (as opposed to the generally cylindrical bore of flutes and clarinets). The shawm's performance flexibility was limited by the construction of the reed area, which had a small cap called a "pirouette" over it which kept the players lips off of the reed itself. Notable oboe-makers of the period are the Germans Jacob Denner and J.H. Harris-Warrick, Rebecca: 1990, "A Few Thoughts on Lully's Hautbois". The standard Baroque oboe is generally made of boxwood and has three keys: a "great" key and two side keys (the side key is often doubled to facilitate use of either the right or left hand on the bottom holes). Robert Cambert included the instrument in his opera Pomone in 1671. Different types of aulos were played on different occasions – as was the Roman tibia – for example on the battlefield, during the preparations for a banquet, at festivities and in the theater, where it accompanied the chorus. The multi-instrumentalist Garvin Bushell (1902–1991) played the oboe in jazz bands as early as 1924 and used the instrument throughout his career, eventually recording with John Coltrane in 1961. The double-reed was inside this wind-cap and was not touched by the musician who consequently had no possibility of influencing the sound, which was relatively static. The Sprightly Companion, an instruction book published by Henry Playford in 1695, describes the oboe as "Majestical and Stately, and not much Inferior to the Trumpet". The sound of the new classical hautboy was narrower and more focused than that of its predecessors and its volume corresponded to that of the violin or the flute. Some present-day jazz groups influenced by classical music, such as the Maria Schneider Orchestra, feature the oboe. In keeping with Renaissance custom, the bombarde family consisted of instruments of every pitch, from the treble shawm (third octave above middle C) to the great bass shawm (contraoctave). Orchestras tune to a concert A played by the first oboe. Portrayals of aulos players in Ancient Greece traditionally depict a musician blowing two instruments; this proves that the aulos was a double instrument. The range for the Baroque oboe comfortably extends from C4 to D6. Some early bands in the 1920s and '30s, most notably that of Paul Whiteman, included it for coloristic purposes.
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