Generic term, the oboe is a musical instrument of the wind family of wood, conical bore and whose sound is created by the vibration of a double reed to the passage of breath. His tone can be strong and sound or sweet and charming, bright and full of nasillard or roundness and warmth.

Known since antiquity, the instrument has evolved in space and time with a diversity that is matched only by the creativity of civilizations and cultures in which it is still used today. The traditional oboe (bombarde, bagpipes, duduk, gait, and other Hichiriki zurna) and the modern oboe (musette, oboe, oboe d'amore, English horn and baritone oboe, baroque oboe, oboe classical) form a large family with many facets .

Used solo concert music, chamber music, symphony orchestra or band oboe, oboe modern refers to the orchestra the whole family. According to Hector Berlioz, the oboe is essentially a melodic instrument and has a rustic, full of tenderness, I would say timidity. Candor, grace naive, sweet joy or pain of a weak, agree to the accents of the oboe: it expresses very well in the cantabile. "

Oboe works are mainly from the Baroque repertoire (Johann Sebastian Bach) and classical (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart), and the revival of the nineteenth century (Robert Schumann) to the present day (Nicolas Bacri).

It is also the name of one of the games of the reed organ see Hautbois (organ).

Many remains are representations of Egyptian mizmars, the Greek aulos, single or double, reported by Homer in the Iliad: "And we hear about Thebes in the flames of his auloï 'or tibiae Roman roseau .

The oboe in the world
The zurna or zurla played today from Turkey to Tunisia or Macedonia, the doudouks are of Armenian origin, the toroksips and tárogatós Hungary, the Russian surnajs; the alghaitas are found in all the Africa and even to Burma and the shenaïs are used in traditional music of northern India, more nagasvarams south Thailand has its Pinaise; in China, the suona and Japan the Hichiriki ...

Evolution of the oboe in Europe
From the twelfth century, the observation of illuminations and miniatures of monastic manuscripts, tapestries, sculptures and tables where representatives of different oboe not lacking, gives a fairly accurate idea of the instruments played the circumstances and times (musettes of the Cantigas de Santa Maria, for example).

Available in consort (above, against high-size, low ...) the chalemie, also called oboe old, turned in one piece, especially of large drills to flag, give rise to discs, to cromornes to ciaramellas or Pifferi Italian to dulzainas grails or Spanish, but the bombing, oboe or other Poitou oboe Languedoc ... The oboe is also part of the bagpipe, the biniou of veuze musette or the court playing the melody.

Birth of Baroque oboe
In France, chalemies and cromornes are part of the musical universe of the royal court until Christmas hamlet; oboe Poitou distracted evenings of King Louis XI, musettes are dancing peasants.

From 1650, families and Philidor Hotteterre, instrument, composers, virtuoso musicians, members of the "Music of the House and the Grande Ecurie du Roy", will develop the instrument, dividing it into three parts (upper body, lower body and flag), refining the drills, adjusting the hole notes, adding a key to do serious form of W (allowing the alternation of the position of the hands) and a key mid \ flat . Abandon the "spin" and "caps", they require the control of the reed by the lips to express all the subtleties of sound (Revolutionary difference with all other instruments of the family). They are seen as the creators of the baroque oboe.

In 1664, Jean-Baptiste Lully, superintendent of the Court, wrote a march for new oboe, integrates them "La Grande Ecurie du Roy of Louis XIV, an institution dating back to Francis 1, phasing out the desks of the oldest instruments ( cromornes, recorder, theorbo, viola da gamba, spruce ...). Available in different sizes, they are also entering the music of the musketeers, and therefore, with the bassoons, take off in Europe. If the oboe bands (especially military) are appreciated, the instrument is needed especially in the fledgling orchestra accompanying festivals, operas, ballets court, oratorios, cantatas ... It also triumph as soloist in sonatas and concertos in chamber music.

All the composers of the Baroque will write for the oboe, oboe d'amore, hunting (da caccia), English horn, sizes oboe and oboe baritones (rarer but some have already around 1680, the shape of the saxophone). The eighteenth century century will truly be the golden age of oboe (see Directory).

The oboe classic
The oboe in the classical period, the middle of the eighteenth century to the early nineteenth century, does not vary much from its predecessor. To simplify the fingering, especially the "forks" and trills, for increasing the range (up against-fa) with very empirical research, the keys are gradually becoming more (do serious #, F, G # key d 'octave), but the overall shape and bore remain relatively unchanged. It is not uncommon that the keys are added long after the manufacture of the instrument.

The modern oboe
In the early nineteenth century, the bill of the instruments of the family of wood undergoes a fundamental revolution: Theobald Boehm invented the flute for a system of keys and trays to fill the holes. The diameter of the holes no longer depends on the width of the fingers and a tray can control the opening or closing of several holes. A system of rotating rod, equipped with flat springs or needle, also operated the plugging of holes out of reach.

For oboe after some trial and error, it is Triébert Guillaume and his son Charles-Louis (oboe professor at the Conservatoire de Paris) and Frederic, who adapt, improve and influence the evolution of the mechanism, thinking also bore. Their successors, François Lorée and Lucien, producing the model "Conservatory" plate that will be quickly adopted by all oboists.

The term "oboe" means a double reed instrument or, less often, single reed, put directly into the mouth or locked in a "capsule" (covering the reed pipe), excited by the musician or a pocket of with or without air bellows. Sometimes the lips are based on a "spin" - ring leather, bone or metal fixed in the middle of the jar (tube that has tied the reed). The conical bore and is the instrument when Octavie force sound (instruments cylindrical bore, or clarinets, single reed or double reed quintoient). The body of the instrument is made of bone, horn, reed, wood, plastic, more rarely, ivory or metal. The bells sound can be extremely or very short ... very sweet! a diversity that is matched only by the creativity of different civilizations and the many cultures in which it is still used today.

A wood
The first oboe were grass, using the natural hollow pipe (see Hichiriki the Japanese Gagaku music). Although some traditional instruments are still produced today in these ephemeral materials, very quickly the need for a more durable and lasting became obvious. The factors have sought the hardest woods, high density, with thin fibers and fair as essentially boxwood but cherry (wild cherry), rosewood (rosewood) or pear. Baroque oboe Some have even been shot in ivory.

In the nineteenth century, the addition of keys and multiple holes imposed the most resistant wood: ebony, specifically timber or granadilla Dalbergia melanoxylon. Currently, ebony still dominates, but exotic woods like cocobolo wood or violet bring new sounds and sensations to oboists. Some factors have built oboe metal or Plexiglas (Marigaux). Latest technological developments, Buffet Crampon manufactures its instruments "Green Line" composite most modern patented constituted 95% of ebony powder, 5% of carbon fiber and epoxy.

The model conservatory
The drills, 4mm at the base of the reed tube 16mm goes to the end of the body at the bottom (or on 480mm), and then opens out to 38mm at the base of the flag (on 110mm).

Some 23 holes, masked by a complex built in cletage maillechort (copper, nickel and zinc), made mostly by hand, adjusted, sanded, lime, soda, Gold or silver, flat springs or needle rods swing set on a fifty balls screwed into the wood, 6 plates / rings and twenty Key / spatulas to open and close the holes ... While this mechanism allows the hundreds of fingering notes, trills and multiple sounds possible on a modern oboe.

The Viennese oboe
The Vienna Philharmonic orchestra uses an oboe designed in the early twentieth century by Hermann Zuleger and remained without significant change so far. It is characterized by a bore, a reed cletage and individuals that give it the color in this orchestra. The Akademiemodel is used only in Vienna and different from the oboe French used elsewhere. It is manufactured by very few factors Guntram Wolf and Yamaha.(W3C)

Read also Duduk


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