Please can someone give me advice where to buy cheeper (used) oboe, or give me one as a gift? Many thanks!!!?

Answer (from me):
1.) No
2.) No
3.) Learn how to spell


The Nutcracker, the December cash cow of ballet companies everywhere, will be performed without live music, a blow to Symphony Silicon Valley, which has played for BSJ for many years, as well as to audiences.


I was incredibly sorry to read this news, which came as quite a shock as I had not heard that this was a possibility. I knew the ballet company was struggling, and I expected to have them cancel live music in some shows and have cutbacks in others, but to cancel all live music in The Nutcracker hit hard.

I can’t imagine having to dance to a tape. There is no give and take, no adjusting to different dancer’s. If a dancer has a slight timing issue our conductor watches and follows that. Obviously a tape won’t do that.

Mostly, though, I hope the ballet company can get back on its feet and survive. The arts in San José struggle far too often for such a wealthy area. It’s a frustrating thing for all of us in this profession, and I think it shows San José (and the Silicon Valley) in a poor light. The arts are vital.

Yes, I’m biased. But still ….

Which instrument sounds like a oboe?

… and the answer is:

oboe sounds like the oboe, the clarinet sounds somewhat like it, but its not the same.

But wait, there’s more! (Typos and all, because I’m just too darn lazy ….)

play the oboe and to me it sounds like a snake charmer’s insturment. but to others it sounds like a dying bird.
It depends on the make and brand of the oboe. It can also depend on the reed you use and the wood it is made out of. However, it generally sounds like ,some people say, a duck, but it can also be sweet or mysterious. It is the instrument that tunes the whole band.
The oboe can be mellow in some music pieces such as romantic music
hm… very hard todescribe In Peter and the Wolf (by Sergei Prokofiev) The oboe represents a duck. The oboe is also used for many sad or romantic songs, like in the song across the stars for Star Wars Episode two: Attack of the Clonesby the composer John Williams.

Addicts Symphony: drink and drugs ‘widespread in classical world’, says cellist


I’m certain that there is substance abuse in the music world, but I’m pretty certain there is substance abuse in nearly every profession. I’m not certain it’s as widespread as some might say, but maybe I’m just naive.

I do understand the need to address the issue, especially reading that the film is the “brainchild of James McConnel, a composer who fought his own battle with alcoholism. His son, Freddy, a friend of Peaches Geldof, died from a heroin overdose aged 18.” So there’s that. He wants to bring this to the attention of others and that’s understandable and, I’m sure, important.

I’ve known musicians who have come to work after drinking too much. I had heard of someone who, during breaks of a musical I was playing in (many years ago), went to the rooftop to smoke marijuana. As far as I know I’ve not had any friends who were addicted to drugs. Perhaps I’m just clueless. I wonder.

I am not opposed to alcohol, but I have a policy of not drinking if I have work. It’s just a bad idea. I like to be in control and I don’t think having alcohol in my system would make me feel that way. In addition, I don’t want to start thinking the alcohol is relaxing me or making me play better. It’s just not a good idea to go there.

Art Cruz in Santa Rosa, Calif., writes:

Do you enjoy classical music?

Marilyn responds:

I love it! But it’s too bad that nothing great has been composed (at least not that I’ve heard, and I’ve heard plenty) in many decades. I suppose all the musical talent is in Hollywood working in films or in New York producing scores for those delightful Broadway musicals, where they can make a good living. Understandable, yes, but still too bad for those of us who love the reveries that the complexity of fine classical music can inspire.

I read it here

And who is Marilyn, you ask? Well here … this is what Wikipedia has to say about this person:

Marilyn vos Savant is an American magazine columnist, author, lecturer, and playwright who rose to fame through her former listing in the Guinness Book of World Records under “Highest IQ.”

Personal Thought: the highest IQ does not mean she has the highest IQ when it comes to her ears.

That is all.

Side note: Dan has a “Morning Musings” post. He suggests I have a “Morning Morons” post. ;-)

So I lied. That wasn’t all. Until now.

I haven’t had the time to read this carefully, but I don’t see that they talked to any double reed players. I think they need to. Talk about reeds and you are talking about major stress!


Speaking of health and well being, there are times when it’s really best NOT to look at my full calendar. Next week is one of those times. Between Tuesday and Sunday I have three Wicked (as in the musical) rehearsals, eight performances, and one Rigoletto rehearsal, along with six of my fourteen students to teach (sadly I had to cancel many due to the rehearsal and performance schedule). “One day at a time.” That’s the plan.

This just in from internationally known oboist Nicholas Daniel. TAKE NOTE!:

Musicians! I just managed to spark an alert at Heathrow and was delayed so much that I missed my flight because of something in the small humidifier in my oboe case. Hautbois Marigaux kindly put it there to help with dry conditions but on this occasion it caused a big problem. I advise you to put it into your liquids when you travel.
The strange thing is that I haven’t had it filled up for ages, I simply forgot, but I filled it last night from a jug we had been drinking water from in the interval…. It’s been taken away to be destroyed!
I was described afterwards as a ‘special’ and they took my passport details….

‘Good music is a stress-buster’

Good music is a stress management tool. If students do not learn music, they should at least listen to good classical music or classical-based music…

I’m giving you a snippet of something I just read. I’m going to guess that most who read this blog are going to think it’s about classical music.

And it is.

Here’s more:

Each student should learn music, vocal or any instrument of their choice, and spend an hour every day in practice, he advised students at a lecture demonstration organised at Sri Prakash Vidyaniketan on Sunday.

At exam time, the students can focus on their academics, but during the rest of the year they should spend time learning and practicing music, he advised. A good beginning would be to form a listeners’ club and listen to classical music — Hindustani or Carnatic — and even film songs that are based on classical music were good, he suggested.

We Western classical folk aren’t the only ones … :-)


When you have a good enough reed, then the oboe has one of the most beautiful voices ever. It can be bittersweet, spicy and plaintive and make the listener laugh or cry. The sound alone is what makes it all worthwhile and you have to be totally in love with that to make it a joy to play through all the frustration and hard work.


Does playing oboe vs the clarinet help in Ivy League admissions?
I play clarinet and saxiphone and I’m a rising senior and I want to know if starting oboe at this point would help me in getting into a top 20 college

Please please please play oboe because you love oboe. Please don’t play oboe because you think it’s your college ticket.

Sure, it can be a ticket to college, but you need to be good at it. Or maybe you need to be great. It depends upon the school. Picking up oboe at the last minute is too little too late. It’s also a very obvious thing to do and the admissions folks see through it.