INSTRUMENTS IN DEPTH


HISTORY AND CONSTRUCTION

INSTRUMENTS OF THE OBOE FAMILY

THE ROLE OF THE OBOE IN MUSIC

REEDS

PLAYING THE OBOE

LEARN OBOE AT BSM

 

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An excerpt from Ibert's Escales. Here, the oboe is used to evoke the sounds of Asian music.

THE ROLE OF THE OBOE IN MUSIC

The oboe can be found in many types of musical ensembles, including the orchestra, symphonic band, woodwind quintet, and other chamber music combinations. It is often heard in movie and television soundtracks and can even be heard in jazz and popular music. In the orchestra, the oboist plays a very important role. The oboe section sits in the center of the orchestra next to the flute section. It is the job of the principal oboist to tune the orchestra to an A at the beginning of each concert. The other key role of the oboe is that it usually carries the melody with its lyrical and mournful color, often heard as the solo instrument in the most emotional sections of music. Composers like to use the oboe in more exotic passages of music, as the nasal tone of oboe can give it an oriental quality that lends itself nicely to this type of music. Examples of this can be heard in Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker (Arabian Dance) and Ibert's Escales.