My first oboe lesson…

… in 17 years.

Scales are important. My assignment is B?, E and D major scales eighth notes at ?=96. Full range of instrument, one time slurred, once articulated (but not staccatto: “doo” “doo” as opposed to “dit” “dit”). Then arpeggio including all notes up to high F (!).

While playing scales focus on producing a continuous tone. Open mouth. Focus airstream through the reed. My current problems include uneven tone production. Also, bring the oboe up; not to slouch over; also it doesn’t need to be perpendicular to my face, it can come out at a natural angle.

Barret melody etude #1. We are to try this “formula” for dynamic expression: Overlay four bar phrases ?? with climax on beat 1 of bar 3. Also, delay the completion of the dynamic change so it’s more like ——-< ========>. We didn’t discuss articulation, so I’m sure that will be a surprise for next time. Carrie suggested that uneven dynamic control is disconcerting to listen to, and I concur. Tension in music comes from the unexpected — unexpected time signature, chords, melodies that do the “wrong thing” (Imagine if “Somewhere over the rainbow” went UP on “over” — ick)… so uncontrolled tone production producing variable dynamics isn’t a good foundation for controlling musicality.

Telemann mvt1. This is the bait to tempt me into practicing the above. Although after how much praise Carrie gave Barret, I have more respect for that book. Will endeavor to appreciate it. Once again, Brody was right.


To control a reed that vibrates too much, thin the sides of the tip. We’re talking about a region about 1 mm wide and extending the length of the tip. It is important that this thinning is done evenly — don’t stray into the middle (Fig 1).

oboe reed info

The heart on my new batch of reeds was too thick. Probably I over compensated for the advice from Brent?

Must watch the overlap when tying on reeds. The blades of the cane need to overlap so that the torque imparted by wrapping seals the edge together, not pulls it apart. This is a wonderful insight which explains why half of my reeds come apart. (Fig 2).

Ok, I’m late for work…

Andean Music

Listen to the Andean Flute performance from this afternoon in iTunes or download directly here:


Zamphir, eat your heart out.