Read online:

If you’re like me–and I would suspect there are as many that are as aren’t–your take on the oboe is that it is an instrument that is part of the orchestra, an instrument that contributes to the total sound but not one that ever takes the lead, or is as famous as, say, the cello, the French horn, the violin or the flute; sort of the second rhythm guitar or third back-up singer in a rock band. You know it’s there, but you can’t really make out what it sounds like. Couple that with an old saying attributed to the instrument: “The Oboe is an ill wind woodwind that nobody plays well.” You’re left wondering, “Why would anyone want to have an ensemble that features such a blasé instrument?”



(The article is about Paul McCandless and it does talk about the oboe in a very positive way, but I’d never thought about French horn being more “famous” than the oboe. Hm.)


  1. Oh God’s sake. “It’s an ill wind that nobodoy blows good,” Danny Kaye’s joke on The Tempest, “an ill wind that blows no good,” and every oboist has heard it
    17 zillion times, thanks for annoying all of this the millionth time. Hey, how do you
    Get to Carnegie Halll? We’ve never heard THAT one!

  2. Gosh, Blair, didn’t realize you read my blog nor did I think this would make someone so very angry at me. Yikes!

  3. … and “God’s sake” … I’m never sure what to think about that one. Hm … I’ll have to ponder.