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.

What brand is my oboe?
So, i’m trying to figure out what brand my oboe is because I might be looking to sell it. All that’s “written” on it is the number 101227 on all three parts of the body, but the bell doesn’t have a brand name on it… so I was hoping someone could help me out…

Also… I have a Selmer oboe Mod. 123 F and I was wondering if anyone could tell me how much it’s work? Roughly… it’s in pretty great condition, I think all of the notes play (or they did) and doesn’t have a lot of visible scratches or anything…

I have a sneaking suspicion it’s not an oboe anyone would want to buy if it doesn’t have a brand name on it. Hmm. Then there’s the Selmer. (No thanks.) I LOVE, “I think all of the notes play”. Too cute! ;-)

I like the piano concerto. Really. But if I’m going to use classical music to try to thwart the NSA I think I’d choose something different. Hmm. Suggestions? ;-)

MPs who sit on the spying committee had become so concerned that US agents might listen in to their discussions that they had ordered classical music to be played, to drown out the discussions.
On arrival at the meeting, The Suddetusche Zeitung reported that for “security reasons” MPs had to put their mobile phones and computers into a large metal box to ensure that they were not subjected to outside surveillance.
“Then the committee chairman, Patrick Sensburg switched the music on,” a source told the paper. “Edvard Grieg’s piano concert in A minor. Just for security.”


If you start the oboe in eight grade and want to get good by high-school, how long should you practice?

I read this online. The answer suggested starting at 15 minutes, moving to 30 and eventually 45. But of course it’s not that simple. Still, kudos to the young oboist who wants to “get good”! :-)

Side Note: I’m out of town for the week, and most of my posts are probably going to be things I set up in advance. I’m not sure how much time or internet access I’ll have!


That balanced perspective would encompass the huge variety of orchestras, especially the unsung regional ones, where the heart of classical music beats. It’s not just about sound; it’s about listening. The symphonic space demands a uniquely focused listening perspective that we rarely experience anywhere else in the 21st Century. Not every piece needs to be a magnum opus: An opener, whether John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine or my own Mothership, is light by definition. But the works must withstand the internal attention of an orchestra and the external attention of a couple thousand active listeners. And when you get to longer, symphony-length works, you can really travel to trippy places.

—Mason Bates

Read on Mason Bate’s blog.

Crusty 118-year-old sandwich found stuffed in UK church organ


Many thanks to Susan Laney Spector for bringing this to my attention!


Um … no. And you didn’t need to yell at me, either. ;-)