Wind instrument of the family of woods, the oboe is a double reed aerophone, with narrow conical body (open tube about 60 cm), with sixteen to 20 holes, six of which are pressed by the fingers of the interpreter and the others activated by a complex mechanism of keys. The oboe is currently constructed in black cock, ebonite or plastic in three parts, joined by hole and springs: upper body and lower body, with six holes and mechanism of metal keys and campanula, slightly pronounced. Generally made by instrumentalists, the Heteroglot Reed is made up of two blades of cane (arundo donax or arundo sativa), thinner near the mouth, which attach to a small piece of cork, hole in the upper end of the instrument.
The use of double reed instruments dates back to antiquity (aulos, nickname) and spread throughout Europe during the Crusades. The abundant construction of double reed instruments, with and without capsule (which protected the double reed) in the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods, such as the torch, the cromorne, the douçaine e the bagpipe is documented in the Renaissance treatises. By means of deep morphological changes made by the blowtorch since the first half of the 17th century, and since the performances of the performative practice since that time – including the decrease of the opening of the bellflower, the increase of the tube, the increase and the reduction of the diameter of the holes, the increase of the reed and the abandonment of the pirouette and the replacement of the reed between the lips – was created the hautboy, a double reed instrument, built of boxwood or other wood of fruit trees, with two or three keys of its sweetest, with potential for implementation in several tones and in different dynamics, specific to the performance in the newly created orchestral bands Baroque French. Adopted in the main European musical institutions since the last quarter of the XVIIth century, the hautboy underwent several morphological improvements during the following century, among them the progressive decrease of the opening of the pavilion, the narrowing of the body of the instrument, the sharp decrease in the holes. Although launched since the 1780s, the use of mechanisms with more than two keys was established only in the nineteenth century; still in this century, the adoption of smaller and more rigid reeds and other morphological changes ensured the greatest texture, improvements in accuracy, sound and sound balance in several instrument registers and greater accessibility of fingerprinting and execution in various tones. Among several models that appeared during this century, received widespread acceptance the 13-key German-Austrian oboe, developed circa 1824 by Sellner and Koch, and the French oboe of septe keys, adopted by Vogt circa 1825. Various improvements to French oboes have been launched since the mid-19th century: between the 1840s and the 1850s, Lavigne adopted the mechanism developed by Boehm for the flute, which ensures, by adjusting the placement of the holes, the improvement of the accuracy of the oboe ; nevertheless, received the widespread acceptance of the performers the system 6 ‘, non-Boehm, developed by Trièbert and Barret (1872) and adopted in the Paris Conservatory in 1882, which allows the adoption of the same fingerprint of the first for the second octave. Among the innovations developed in the 20th century, mention should be made of the Gillet system (with «wedged keys» applied to the six holes), Stotijn (with an automatic registry key) and Prestini (with left thumb keys).
Janet K. Page, Geoffrey Burgess, Bruce Haynes & Michael Finkelman, «Oboe» in Stanley Sadie, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Macmillan, 2001.