30 years have passed since the first «?J1?» oboes were designed by Roland Rigoutat. Nowadays, a six-year-old child is able to discover this instrument thanks to a tailor-made oboe adapted to a child’s anatomy i.e. very light, suitable for small hands, and with easy response. This is a real challenge if you want to keep the original pitch and tone qualities of a standard instrument. Philippe Rigoutat, along with Antoine Lazennec, in charge of the Company student range, will face this challenge by implementing the different resources and professional skills of the workshop in order to make a genuine blackwood (dalbergia melanoxylon) oboe intended for beginners.

To make it easier to play, the tone holes layout has been modified and the low C key, the F ring and the E plate brought closer for a better hand position. The demands for perfect intonation require a specific setting and key mounting work which allows for the whole C scale with various fingering possibilities. Moreover, by deliberately choosing keyless tone holes on the upper joint, we are able to obtain a warm and rich sonority which is reminiscent of its forbears.

For starting out with the oboe also means discovering the history of an instrument which was born in France 400 years ago. The “Initiation” model recreates, for educational purposes, the lightness that was the hallmark of historical oboes. Its fingering combinations, similar to those of the recorder or the baroque instrument allow us to recreate links between two instruments sharing a partly common repertoire.

By opening up new teaching prospects through relevant innovations in the instrument making field, the oboe has found its way back to its historical roots.