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The oboe is a woodwind instrument that plays in the treble ranges and uses a double reed to produce sound. The first oboe-like instruments appear in ancient drawings about 2800 B.C. A double-reed instrument called an ottu was used in India during the 12th to 7th centuries B.C., and the shawm, a double-reed instrument from the Middle Ages, was a direct ancestor of the oboe. The first true oboe was produced in the mid 1600s and debuted in an orchestra in France in 1657.

The modern oboe has a narrow body and multiple keys that allow for a wider range. The double reed is often mounted on a bocal, a metal piece that slides into the top of the body. Professional-grade oboes are made of wood, usually granadilla wood, while student-model oboes may be made of plastic. Producers of vintage oboes... Read more

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