Monday, May 17, 2010

Hey There, Old Timer!

YA# 7375
Recently, an oboe colleague of mine saw the Loboe and mentioned that she "hadn't seen one of those in a long time". Yes, this particular model of oboe has been used by other oboists besides Alex Klein, though admittedly it is a very small club at the moment. The instrument offers so much in terms of a unique and full tone quality as well as the advantages in the more extreme registers. However, I believe that it is because most oboists are not using the instrument to its true potential that it has not had a larger impact on the double reed world.

Convincing oboists to think beyond the notion that "oboe music doesn't go down to low-A" proves difficult to overcome, though not impossible. For instance, I will have an audio posting of the first solo work for the Loboe, "Coupling", very soon.  I frankly think oboists need to be more proactive when it comes to our literature and should continue to seek out new opportunities and collaborations with composers and transcribers.

The oboe has constantly evolved during its long history, everything from additional notes to improvements like the left-hand F key. There is no written rule that I am aware of that says that the oboe officially, and will forever, stop at "low-Bb". One could ask "why stop at 'A', why not go down to low-G and have the same bottom range as violin?".  Good question.  I strongly feel that whatever alterations and experimentations we make on the oboe, there has to be a compelling case for it. I took a long time in deciding that the Loboe was well worth the investment of time and resources and have dedicated a large part of my musical career to its potential. The whole purpose of this blog is to document as much proof as possible as to why oboists should seriously consider this model and the possibilities that even a single half-step (plus everything else it does!) can bring to the music world. Let's not sell ourselves short!

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