So the other week I accidentally bought an oboe (standard booze and ebay incident). I’m a grad student and even my drunken self knows I don’t have much cash, so as you’d expect it was pretty cheap and isn’t in the best condition.

Now, I know bugger all about oboes, never played one, never known anyone else who did, but once my drunken prize arrived I thought it would be a bit of a giggle to learn to play the thing. Not properly, just as a thing to fiddle around with in my downtime, I’ve been meaning to find a new instrument to play for years. Looking at the local music shops I find there’s one that specialises in oboes and is run by an ex-pro. I took it down to him today where he basically told me it was an odd, old type, looked short and would be too high pitched to be used in an orchestra. Then he said getting it fixed up would cost about £350, which I don’t have. Since then I’ve been trawling the internet to find out what exactly it is, but I’m at a bit of a loss.

I read that, and more, here. It includes a picture of the thing.


  1. Yup. A perfect, lamp-ready military system oboe probably from the late 1800s.

    Dunno why he’d be told oboes don’t march; there was a time when shawm and sackbut bands were the standard. I even marched with my oboe in Army bands myself during my military stint.

    No amount of money is going to make that instrument useful. It’s a lamp! Get used to it.

    Should have paid better attention when his mother warned him about drinking…

  2. Hehe. It’s so tempting to buy those cheap instruments on eBay. Here’s my advice for flute students called, cheap flutes are cheap for a reason: