The Oboe

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 2004 - Music - 418 pages
2 Reviews

The oboe, including its earlier forms the shawm and the hautboy, is an instrument with a long and rich history. In this book two distinguished oboist-musicologists trace that history from its beginnings to the present time, discussing how and why the oboe evolved, what music was written for it, and which players were prominent.

Geoffrey Burgess and Bruce Haynes begin by describing the oboe’s prehistory and subsequent development out of the shawm in the mid-seventeenth century. They then examine later stages of the instrument, from the classical hautboy to the transition to a keyed oboe and eventually the Conservatoire-system oboe. The authors consider the instrument’s place in Romantic and Modernist music and analyze traditional and avant-garde developments after World War II. Noting the oboe’s appearance in paintings and other iconography, as well as in distinctive musical contexts, they examine what this reveals about the instrument’s social function in different eras. Throughout the book they discuss the great performers, from the pioneers of the seventeenth century to the traveling virtuosi of the eighteenth, the masters of the romantic period and the legends of the twentieth century such as Gillet, Goossens, Tabuteau, and Holliger. With its extensive illustrations, useful technical appendices, and discography, this is a comprehensive and authoritative volume that will be the essential companion for every woodwind student and performer.


What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KirkLowery - LibraryThing

History, trivia -- it's the best. Read full review


The prehistory of the oboe
From consort oboe to eloquent oboe 16101680
The sprightly hautboy 16801760
From Classical hautboy to keyed oboe 17601825
From keyed oboe to the Conservatoire oboe 18251880
From Romanticism to Modernism the adoption and dissemination of the Conservatoire oboe 1880 to 1950
The oboe in Romantic and Modernist music cultural themes and implications
Diversifying streams since World War II the traditional stream
Diversifying streams since World War II from the avantgarde to Postmodernism

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 349 - La musique mise à la portée de tout le monde, exposé succinct de tout ce qui est nécessaire pour juger de cet art, et pour en parler, sans en avoir fait une étude approfondie; par FJ Fétis.
Page 353 - Principes de la flûte traversière ou flûte d'Allemagne, de la flûte à bec ou flûte douce et du hautbois '. This work constitutes the earliest treatise on the flute in its new form.

References to this book

The Clarinet
Eric Hoeprich
Limited preview - 2008
All Book Search results »

About the author (2004)

Geoffrey Burgess, who has taught historical musicology at Duke University and SUNY, Stony Brook, is an active

Recently retired as a peformer. Associate Professor of Music, University of Montreal, and author, (The Eloquent Oboe: A History of the Hautboy from 1640 to 1760 (OUP, 2001) and The End of Early Music: A Period Peformer's History of Music for the Twenty-First Century (OUP, 2007)

Bibliographic information