Hautboy, the early oboe

This is my instrument, it was made by Pau Orriols, luthier in "Vilanova i la Geltrú", based on a baroque oboe model by the english luthier of the 18th century, Stanesby Jr.


Although I am mainly a keyboard performer, I have studied baroque oboe for a few years (I started before joining Esmuc and continued during all my time there) and I am very happy with the experience.
Altough I have only achieved a basic level of proficiency, I enjoy very much playing it, specially when performing chamber music.

The oboe at the museums

By clicking here, we will be able to see the oboes and other double reed instruments present at the Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments.

Looking at the pictures of this collection we can see that during all the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, the oboes were of 2 keys (what changed the instrument from the baroque to the classical one of Haydn and Mozart was not the number of keys but the inside diameter and conicity - which cannot be seen in a photo - and which is narrower in the instrument of the classical period). It was not till the first half of the 19th century that more keys were gradually incorporated.

By the way, in the collection of Edinburgh instruments we can see also a "tarota" (popular shawm) and its evolved variants, the "tible" and the "tenora" of the 19th century, all of them probably from Catalonia.

Finally, click here to see the complete collection of instruments of the Museum.

Description of the instrument

Information on the baroque instrument is available at the Wikipedia general article on the instrument, where a part is devoted to this historic period: look at Oboe, Wikipedia (very extensive article, but in spanish), or alternatively, at Oboe, Wikipedia (article in english, but shorter).

I also add a link to the Web page of the german instrument maker of period oboes, Paul Hailperin, where you will find a collection of pictures of the instruments he makes.

And a link to the Web page of the instrument maker from USA, Sand Dalton, with detailed information of the oboes he makes.

Miscellaneous Information

The Web page about Oboe and reed information, from the Oboe department of the Arizona State University.

Web page of the oboist and pedagogue Matthew Peaceman, who published an interesting book with exercises for baroque oboe. Curious pictures on the section "Reeds", these are fragments of oil paintings from the 18th century with reeds on oboes.

Note.- I found on the internet the news that M. Peaceman has died (+ 2008): you can see the news here, on the other side and up to now, his Web page is still working, a fact to be considered an hommage to his memory.

Fingerings and exercises for the baroque oboe, by Stephen Hammer.

The Oldest English Oboe Reeds?, An examination of nineteen surviving examples: Geoffrey Burgess and Peter Hedrick.

Article on Music for oboe band, written by Renate Hildebrand.

Beyond temperament, non-keyboard intonation in the 17th and 18th centuries, by Bruce Haynes.

A Bibliography of Writings about the Oboe, 17th-19th Centuries: Primary Sources, compiled by Geoffrey Burgess, Laura Goetz, and David Lasocki.

Italian Baroque Ornamentation: Taking into account the Baroque Oboe by Rebecca Kemper Scarnati.

An ironical text about the oboist (in spanish), the difficulty of the instrument, the idiosyncrasy of the performer and his/her oddities, and above all, his/her worries about the reeds.

Daroca Early Music Courses - Oboe

In 2000 I attended for the first time the baroque oboe classes by Renate Hildebrand in Daroca (Zaragoza, Spain), and could participate in the ensemble formed by oboes, "taille d'oboe" (tenor oboe) and bassoons, que constitutes the so-called "oboe band", an instrumental group very usual at the beginning of the 18th century. From this picture of our "oboe band" I took the banner for the main page of this my Website.

If you want to listen to the band, click here to go to the files of our final concert of that year 2000.

Oboe - Daroca 2008

I had planned to go to Daroca on summer 2008, but the severe accident with skull poly-traumatism which I suffered put me off to do any regular activity. The professor, teacher there and friend Renate Hildebrand, sent me a couple of photos of the course: I hang them here and in a certain way, I can imagine I was there too.