What is a woodwind quartet?



Ensemble Corrélatif, Eugène Bozza – 'Trois pièces pour une musique de nuit'https://youtu.be/enXi09_t57c




    You must have heard all kinds of music in your daily life, such as pop music, classical music, jazz music, etc. But do you know what the woodwind quartet is? Do you know what kinds of instruments the woodwind quartet is composed of?




    In fact, the woodwind quartet is composed of four woodwind instruments. Because the ensemble is also willing to be a quartet, we generally call it the woodwind quartet. Generally speaking, the woodwind quartet is played by flute, clarinet, oboe and bassoon. In addition, the four instruments in the woodwind quartet all have four different ranges, with rich tenor, mid-range and bass colors, which will make the music very full. And because these four instruments come from different instrument families, there will be unique timbre changes in the resonance between instruments when performing the quartet.


    With the progress of history, the members of the woodwind quartet have been fixed as flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon. Today, we will introduce the characteristics of these four instruments from the oboe among the oboe instruments.












    In the woodwind quartet and symphony orchestra, the oboe is always indispensable. If you have participated in the rehearsal of the orchestra, you will find that before rehearsal, the conductor always uses the oboe as the tuning benchmark of the orchestra. Therefore, some conductors always joke that if the oboe player has not arrived, we will not rehearse today. This also fully shows that the oboe has a great influence on the whole symphony orchestra, and it is also an instrument that can not be ignored.



    The oboe was also a very important instrument in the military band. The famous composer Bach  and others liked this instrument very much. At the same time, composers like Beethoven,Handel,Tchaikovsky and others wrote music for the oboe in their own works, which also made the oboe shine in the symphony orchestra, and thus attracted more attention from the music industry.





    The body of the oboe is conical, with a diameter of 60-70cm. The mouthpiece is composed of a pair of reed and bamboo pieces, and is installed at the top of the instrument. When playing the oboe, if we release our hands completely, the instrument will play the natural scale in D major.


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    The tone of the oboe is very charming, and it has a charm that makes people fall into it and meditate. No matter when and where you appreciate its voice, you will be intoxicated by its tone. What’s more, the sound penetration of the oboe is extremely strong. Even in the huge symphony orchestra, it can also stand out and have its own place. And the strong and weak playing of this instrument is very easy to handle, which can also make the performers feel very relaxed.




Now let's enjoy a performance of the symphony orchestra:





Beethoven Symphony No.3, Oboe solo:https://youtu.be/XYW2wlDARXc




    Can you feel that the oboe has been undertaking the winding melody? Because of the uniqueness of the oboe, it has a special ability to express emotions. Even the most ordinary music melody will become rich in singing after being played by the oboe.



    The tenor of the oboe in the high voice area is relatively tight, and has extremely strong penetration and brightness. Although the volume is not very large, it can always give a high pitched feeling. The timbre in the mid tone area is the most exquisite, because the breath required for playing is very little, so even girls can fully control and play it. Most of our lyric, memorial, singing and cheerful parts in the ensemble will be played by the oboe, and the mid tone area can also be called the most commonly used one in oboe performance. Secondly, the bass area of the oboe sounds like a heavy nasal sound, but it is also full of characteristics. The form of weak playing is usually not used when performing.


    At the same time, the oboe is the least breath consuming of all woodwind instruments. Even girls with weak breath can play easily. Therefore, the oboe is also very suitable for playing some more continuous and long music clips. It also has the title of "lyric soprano".



Breathing on the Oboe:https://youtu.be/Nq_C-9Rm5BM