History

Although known since Antiquity, the oboe is not a popular instrument such as the saxophone, the flute or even the clarinet for wind instruments, or the piano and the guitar for string instruments.
Its purchase price abose that of many instruments is no doubt one of the reasons for its relative marginality. Its low sound volume can also be cited, which kept it from appearing in Jazz and Rock groups for a long time - this problem no longer existing thanks to progress in sound recording. Also to be added is its technical difficulty, which has not helped things, either.

The oboe began in 3000 BC with a double reed made of two fine strips of reed which vibrated against one another when someone breathed through them.

Antiquity knew the Egyptian double oboe, the Greek aulos and the Roman tibia.

The Middle Ages knew the pipe, and the Renaissance sounded the musette and the bombard.


It is thanks to J. S. BACH, PURCELL, HAENDEL, and the QUANTZ and VIVALDI that the oboe spread throughout Europe. Thus, the oboe family was born: musette, oboe d'amore, "angled" hom (later to become the cor anglais), tenor oboe and bass oboe. Only the oboe, the oboe d'amore and the cor anglais were to be included in the orchestra.

After MOZART, HAYDN, BELL[NI and many others, SCHUMANN wrote many admirable pages for the oboe.

Then, at the beginning of our century, BRITTEN and POULENC, among others, gave it new preeminence in chamber music, while STRAUSS, PENDERECKI and IBERT had its superb solos accompanied by the orchestra.

Instrument making over the past hundred years has evolved considerably in its scarch for a tone quality that is still brilliant but at the same time more rounded so as to merge with the orchestra.