From Tumblr (again)

Let’s play which reed sounds closer to a duck trying to sing as opposed to a duck dying in pain.

I hate the oboe but I swear ever[y] oboe player I know is so cute.

I just had to add the “y” because my heart hurts without it. :-)

Someone writes to ask a question:

Okay, all….

It’s been about 23 years since I had that woodwind class in college when I tried to play the oboe. What are some hints and helps (other than those that include burning) that you all can share with me. Believe it or not, in my 20 years of teaching, I haven’t had to teach oboe!

We have a new oboe here (Selmer USA 123FB) and I’d like to get a student started on it. I have a flute player that is bright and interested.

I’m open to any help and advice. Thanks!!!

First of all … Selmer? Sigh. Can there be a good Selmer oboe? I’m not sure.

But then there’s this answer:

A million ideas about how to proceed, but one thing to be sure of before you do anything. It is good to choose ‘smart’ kids to play oboe, but many of these types of kids have a very low tolerance for frustration. Too many things come very easy for them, and I can guarantee you that oboe will not be one of them! I’ve seen many smart kids that would be great band kids flame out because their can’t handle the frustration of learning this infernal beast.So be sure they have the temperment as well as the aptitude.

Yes, I am an oboe player, and yes, my sanity has left the building.

So choose a smart kid but one that has a high tolerance for frustration? Um. Okay. :-)

RQOD = Reed Quote of the Day

Don’t worry, I’ll probably not have any more of these … but how could I resist this?

A finished reed is 70 millimeters in length, and the part that you scrape is only from 47 to 70 millimeters. Twenty-three millimeters define our existence.

Eugene Izotov

You can read more and even see a video about his low A oboe by clicking here.

A thread to celebrate the instrument which relaxes my mind more than any other. There’s something awe inspiring about the sound that it produces.

A couple of favourites:

Vivaldi – Oboe Concerto in A Minor

Gabriel’s Oboe (from The Mission soundtrack)

Bach – Concerto for Oboe d’amore in A major

And not to forget the oboe’s sublime contribution to pop – Sonny and Cher, for example.

It was REM’s Nightswimming that first alerted me to the the beauty of the oboe’s sound, but if I had to pick a favourite it would be the Go-Betweens ‘Bye Bye Pride.’ A wholesome blast of oboe porn from Amanda Brown.

Have you any personal favourites?

I’m always interested in what drew someone to oboe. An alternative rock band is a bit of a surprise. But I’ll take it. :-)

Definition of oboe

a slender double-reed instrument; a woodwind with a conical bore and a double-reed mouthpiece
reed instrument with a sullen, plaintive quality to its sound

Well now … this just makes me VERY angry. Glum, even.

Or perhaps sullen.

Looks like it.

After a rancorous two-month musician lockout that captured international media attention and scorched a trail through social media, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra management and its players sounded a rare harmonious note in announcing a four-year collective bargaining agreement on Saturday.

“With this agreement, the Woodruff Arts Center showed a great commitment to maintaining a great orchestra in Atlanta,” said Paul Murphy, president of the ASO Players’ Association, the musician’s union. “That’s something I had feared was not the case, but I was heartened ultimately.”

Virginia Hepner, president and CEO of the Woodruff, the ASO’s parent nonprofit, said in a statement announcing the accord, “Over the last several difficult weeks of negotiations, both sides recognized that we all share the same goals and aspirations — we all want a world class orchestra that the musicians and city are proud of and one that has long-term financial stability.

“We believe this new agreement is one that will allow us to achieve those goals.”

Even by the rough-and-tumble standards of many labor negotiations, this one has been harsh, reflecting poorly on Atlanta’s arts support and ambitions as a cultural mecca.


I could have named you Fife. Or Calliope. Or even Ciaramella. I do apologize, Brandon, Kelsey and Jameson. If only I’d read this oh-so-many years ago!

I read it here.

Here’s the list of 10:
Piano (They suggest this might be a better middle name … DUH.)

I would strongly suggest that you test your potential Oboe student’s ability to match pitch. I always say to my students they have to match pitch perfectly to play instruments like the Oboe and French Horn because it’s very easy to play the wrong note if you cannot hear it beforehand.

Well, yes, perhaps … but for rather different reasons, don’t you think? French hornists can play different notes with the same fingering, while we don’t. We just have a pesky reed and we can do a good amount of pitch bending with the things sometimes.

Still, I DO have my students match my tuner sometimes: I play a note on the tuner and tell them to continue to play even when I switch it over to tuning mode. Then I put the tuner on the stand (as they are still playing) to show them how close they managed to get. Most are pretty good at this, but some have to work on it for a while.

But maybe some of you disagree. Do you think it’s very easy to play the wrong note on oboe? I think it’s more of playing an out-of-tune note (as long as the fingering is correct, that is).

Just read this on craigslist:

Woodwind quintet seeks practicing oboe player. We rehearse on Wednesday nights and have lots of fun.

I mean … first they say “practicing” and then they say “fun”.

Are they nuts?! ;-)