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Homage to Oboe History
Oboe history should include the
origin of the word oboe, which is hautbois (a French word), meaning
high wood. This instrument uses a double reed and has a range of
about two and a half octaves, beginning on the Bb below middle C.
Many famous composers have written
concertos for this marvelous instrument including Vivaldi and Vaughan
Williams. Famous players of the past and present include Giuseppe
Sammartini, Pierre Pierlot and Heinz Holliger.
Historically, Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
used the oboe extensively and by the mid eighteenth century, most
orchestras in Europe had two oboe players as part of their ensemble.
cor anglais (English horn) is pitched a fifth lower than an oboe.
It’s a lovely instrument that is not a horn and not English.
Talk about a mismatched name! Its two and a half octave range has
a beautiful tone that was used extensively by Romantic composers
in the nineteenth century.
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