The oboe (// OH-boh) is a type of double reed woodwind instrument. Oboes are usually made of wood, but may also be made of synthetic materials, such as plastic, resin, or hybrid composites. The most common oboe plays in the treble or soprano range. A soprano oboe measures roughly 65 cm (25+1⁄2 in) long, with metal keys, a conical bore and a flared bell. Sound is produced by blowing into the reed at a sufficient air pressure, causing it to vibrate with the air column. The distinctive tone is versatile and has been described as "bright". When the word oboe is used alone, it is generally taken to mean the treble instrument rather than other instruments of the family, such as the bass oboe, the cor anglais (English horn), or oboe d'amore.
(Double-reeded aerophone with keys)
|Developed||Mid 17th century from the shawm|
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A musician who plays the oboe is called an oboist.
Today, the oboe is commonly used as orchestral or solo instrument in symphony orchestras, concert bands and chamber ensembles. The oboe is especially used in classical music, film music, some genres of folk music, and is occasionally heard in jazz, rock, pop, and popular music. The oboe is widely recognized as the instrument that tunes the orchestra with its distinctive 'A'.