Oboe d'amore


What is oboe d'amore?

Oboe d'amore is the alto or mezzosoprano member of the oboe family. The whole family is called the doublereeds and it includes today the following instruments from the smallest to the biggest: In the baroque time, there were also instruments like oboe da caccia and taille, which are substituted by the english horn in modern performances.

In the 18th century, there were also oboes with the same size and the same pitch (A) as the oboe d'amore, but without the pear-shaped bell. These were called just as 'oboe', 'oboe grande' or 'haute-contre'.


According to the present knowledge, the oboe d'amore was at the first time used in 1717 by Christoph Graupner in his Cantata Wie wunderbar ist Gottes Güt. The instrument was used by J.S.Bach, G.P.Telemann, the Graun brothers, C.Graupner, G.H.Stölzel, J.M.Böhm, A.Lotti, J.H.Roman and a few others. Possibly the last to write for oboe d'amore in the 18th century was C.D. von Dittersdorf.

The oboe d'amore was re-established in the second half of the 19th century and it is used both in presentations of baroque music and in modern compositions. The composers who have used the oboe d'amore after the new rise of the instrument include Debussy, R.Strauss, Ravel, Koechlin, Delius, Henze, Takemitsu and others.


If you want to see a modern oboe d'amore, click here.

A list of academic dissertations concerning the oboe d'amore.

Suggested reading

Finnish compositions for/with oboe d'amore

Links to other sites with information on oboe d'amore


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