The English horn, according to Medieval Life and Times, also evolved from the shawm and the hautbois, but historians are not sure as to when the oboe and the English horn became two separate instruments. The English horn is typically larger in size and slightly deeper in pitch.

Um … when someone writes “typically” it sort of implies to me “but not always” … am I wrong about this?

Read here: Origins of the Oboe and English Horn.

1 Comment

  1. Clearly an amateur research effort by a well meaning person with no knowledge whatever of the larger context of the topic.

    By the time the oboe arrived on the scene (correctly described as a descendant of the shawm), most instruments then in use (shawms, sackbuts, viols, etc) had for several hundred years been made in ‘families’ that mimicked the usages of vocal music. They were all made with soprano, alto, tenor and bass members. The English Horn then did not ‘become a separate instrument’ from the oboe. It came into being as the tenor member of the oboe family (and was descended from the tenor shawm) and so was always bigger than the oboe.

    Hope that wasn’t too longwinded 🙂

    – Bob Hubbard