History of the Oboe

The oboe is a double-reed instrument and a member of the woodwind family. The original name for the Oboe was Hautbois—a French word meaning “high wood,” dating back to the 17th century when the modern oboe first began its development. The first oboes were much simpler than the instruments oboists play now, originally using only three keys until the 19th century when the seven-key oboe was made. Since then, many changes and additions have been made to create the oboe as we know it today.


Unlike other reed instruments, the oboe does not use a mouthpiece. Instead, the oboe reed has two pieces of cane wound together with string that vibrate against each other to make sound. The oboe produces a very unique sound within the orchestra, that is most commonly recognized as the part of the duck in “Peter and the Wolf” by Sergei Prokofiev.


© 2020 by Summerhays Music Center

Follow us!

Send us your email & Never Miss an Event!