Oboe (Fr. hautbois; Ger. Oboe; It. oboe)
- Janet K. Page,
- Geoffrey Burgess,
- Bruce Haynes
- and Michael Finkelman
(Fr. hautbois; Ger. Oboe; It. oboe)
Generic term in the system of Hornbostel and Sachs for an aerophone with a double (concussion) reed (for detailed classification see Aerophone). The name is taken from that of the principal treble double-reed instrument of Western art music (see §II below).
The Aulos of ancient Greece may sometimes have had a double reed, and some kind of reed aerophone was known in North Africa in pre-Islamic times. Instruments of theSurnāy type became established with the spread of the Arab empire around the end of the first millennium ce; they were possibly a synthesis of types from Iran, Mesopotamia, Syria and Asia Minor. From there the instrument, then used in a military role, spread into conquered areas and areas of influence: to India, and later, under the Ottoman empire, to Europe (around the time of the fifth crusade, 1217–21; there may already have been bagpipes with double reeds there) and further into Asia (to China in the 14th century). As the instrument spread, it came to be made of local materials and fashioned according to local preferences in usage, shape and decoration: the ...