12. March 2009 · 4 comments · Categories: Oboe, Videos · Tags: ,

I don’t care for R K’s Scheherazade either. I know, I know, we aren’t supposed to say stuff like that. But I didn’t say it. I wrote it So there you go!

You can get some insight into what we play in the work, and the oboist/English hornist, Karen Birch Blundell, also talks about the challenge of playing both instruments in one work. (Whenever we’ve done it in the past we’ve used three players. I don’t know what the next performance of this will bring for me, since we do things differently these days.)

I hadn’t seen her videos before, so this is a fun new discovery for me. What a great idea … I’m not sure I have the nerve to put any up, though. I know how brutal YouTube commentees can be. Yikes!

The following video is a “meet the oboist and oboe” video:

(Psst. I’m playing an oboe I’ve had since 1988. I don’t really go with the “blown out” theory, but I know I’m in the minority on that one.)


  1. My personal opinion (provided here fact free for the education of the entire interwebs) is that the “blown out” concept is more of a psychomological thing than an actual physical phenomenon.

    For brass players (other than trumpeters – they seem to buy a new axe about every other week) it’s the new mouthpiece, which is wondrously awesomely wicked-better for at least…dunno, two weeks? Then it’s pretty much just like the last one. Much cheaper than buying a whole new instrument though.

    Has anyone conducted a test of the “blown out” theory? I should think it wouldn’t be too hard to prove that, while the mechanical parts might wear out, the instrument was otherwise just as good as it ever was (barring abuse/neglect etc.).

    Shoot, I suppose I’ll never be able to get a manufacturer’s discount on an oboe or E horn now…;)

  2. Having never received a discount, I’m gonna guess you won’t find that in any case, Tim.

    But go ahead and try. (And then buy an oboe for me, too.)

    Flute players do the new head joint thing too … or at least they used to. Seems like they’ve recently calmed down about that. I guess every instrument has something like that: head joint, reed, mouthpiece, bow, bocal ….

  3. joethemusician

    Karen is awesome! She helped me find my new oboe which is super-sweet! I have tried really hard to believe in “blown-out” oboes since I keep hearing that they exist but on my new baby (who was born in 1995) I really could not tell anything was “wrong” or “blown-out” etc…

    Youtube can be a disaster. I have posted things as simple as “i studied at these schools” and it had no playing whatsoever and I’ve gotten comments like “you are so bad kill yourself” and i’ve posted clips me sightreeding things with SmartMusic that sound generally awful and people say “wow you are incredible.” To combat this I’m toying around with making all of my comments need approval. *shrug* I think its fun to put up videos but people do generally tend to make it difficult to put yourself out there.

  4. I just figure if you put anything at YouTube you have to deal with the comments. You don’t have to believe the comments. Clearly many are made by people who know nothing, and a large number come from kids; when they criticize an incredible performance (and I’ve seen that) you take it for what it’s worth: nothing. But of course we are in the performing arts and we have to be prepared for harsh words. We will definitely get them at some point in our career!

    Still … I won’t do YouTube. I’m just not up for comments. (But yes, you could do the approval thing; still means you have to read ’em, though. How about no comments at all?)