January is a month of quiet beauty for much of the United States - mostly because it's covered in snow. No bright colors to be seen for miles, but there is a way to usher in the Spring season ahead of schedule! No, it's not the groundhog - it's by listening to the bright, unique sound of the oboe.
The oboe is a member of the woodwind family, joined by the flute, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone. It employs the use of a double reed, which makes it unique to most other woodwinds! This is what produces the sound. Below is a picture of the oboe reed for reference.
The reed itself is actually two reeds tied together (hence the term "double reed"). Saxophones and clarinets use a single reed, which (as the name implies) is only one reed used with a mouthpiece, rather than another reed. The double reed offers the oboe a veryunique sound. Take a listen to the Ralph Vaughan Williams oboe concerto, which shows off the oboe's characteristic tone!
Oboes can be found in wind ensembles, orchestras, and chamber groups across the globe! Its versatility and blend makes it an integral part of the music world. Notable oboists to listen to are Heinz Holliger, Albrecht Mayer, Ray Still, and Alex Klein!
Stay tuned for more Instrument Bios - coming soon!