Looking Ahead in the
World of Oboe Manufacturing:


Panel Discussion Saturday, December 16, 1995 Portland State University/ School of Music Portland, Oregon

Post: Good morning, and welcome to OBOE BLOW-OUT PORTLAND. I know I speak for everyone when I say how pleased we are to be here in Oregon. I'd like to begin by introducing the "Oboe Dignitaries" as they have been come to be known in Portland! Most of you met the first one, Mr. Yves Rilba, earlier this morning. He has been the President of Marigaux Oboes in Paris for some years now. Seated next to him is Philippe Rigoutat, the President of Rigoutat Oboes in Paris. Before Philippe, his father, Roland Rigoutat, was the President of Rigoutat Oboes. And before him, Philippe's grandfather, Charles Rigoutat, was the President. Roland Rigoutat, incidentally, was the first manufacturer of any musical instrument in France in any century to have been awarded the French Legion of Honor. That was earlier this year. I have to explain that Maurice Chevalier, Leonard Bernstein-these are the kind of people who were awarded this honor. To have an oboe maker in the French Legion of Honor is quite extraordinary, and probably won't happen again in any of our lifetimes. Roland Rigoutat is also the newest Honorary Member of the International Double Reed Society. Personally, I'm so terribly proud of all the well-deserved honors the Rigoutat family has received, and I'm so pleased to have Philippe here with us today. Sitting next to Philippe is Joachim Hans Kreul, and this is yet another three-generation oboe family. His factory is in Germany, they make oboes and German system clarinets, and both his father and grandfather were the directors before him. Let me warn you, though, that if you'd like to speak to Mr. Kreul, you've got to do it volto subito, because he's leaving at noon, and it's 10:45 right now! To my left are the two charming British gentlemen who are the co-directors of T.W. Howarth in London. Nigel Clark is primarily associated with the business end of running this enterprise. In addition to oboes, they are also clarinet and bassoon makers. Sitting next to Nigel is John Pullen. John is the director of the Howarth factory, which is located in Worthing, England, rather than in London. He directs production and is the head of design. In a way, one could say there is a connection between what John does and what Mr. Kreul does, and what Mr. Rigoutat does. They are all the design chiefs (Yves Rilba starts to laugh). Yves doesn't make oboes!

Rilba: Don't tell everybody!

Post: But it's a wonderful diplomatic way of saying: "Oh, I'll give you to one of my repairers!" God, I'm so jealous! In any case, these are the introductions, and I am just so delighted and honored that everyone made the trip. Thank you all so much.

About a year and a half ago we had a discussion that was a bit like this at OBOE BLOW-OUT NEW YORK. The personnel was a little bit different, but many of the same people were there. We talked about new ideas and concepts in oboe design, and I wanted to take that whole idea a step further today. That panel discussion has been published twice. It appeared about a year ago in the Woodwind Quarterly, as well as in The Double Reed. I want to keep plugging away at the millennium; at the fact that the oboe has to change; anything that survives in music has to change. This gives us a chance to see how things are changing, and what's happened in the last few years. When I look back at OBOE BLOW-OUT NEW YORK, the big subject there was materials. One of the guests we had there was Buffet, and they had just come out with the Greenline oboe. I can't think of anyone who plays a Greenline oboe, and I must know about 3000 oboists personally. So, the only explanation I can think of is that perhaps this is an idea that the oboe community just isn't ready for at this time. Alternatively, sometimes someone has a great innovation and it gets picked up and transformed by someone else. Microsoft gets a great idea, for example, and then Intel picks it up. You never know. In this world, things happen fast. So, the question is: where are the innovations that are going to be available to us really coming from? I find that a fascinating question. My first question is to Philippe Rigoutat. When we talked in New York, we talked about a composite material that you were working on at that time, where you could stand on it and sit on it and nothing was going to happen to it. Since then, Philippe has pioneered a new material in France. He was in New York in May of 1995, at the Manhattan School of Music, and we introduced this concept to North America. That was a prototype at the time, and since then this material has gone into production. I'm interested in a couple of things: what got you interested in this, and what's your philosophy?

Rigoutat: My philosophy was really given to me by solo oboists. You have two kinds of players. You have players who play in an orchestra, usually in the same hall, who also teach, etc. Then you also have the soloists, who travel all year long, and they have a different situation. Let's say you are a French oboist, and you are on tour in Australia. If you have a crack, it could really be a disaster; there isn't any repair in Australia. Because I have so many solo oboists as my customers, I wanted to find something to help them. Since most would not be able to repair a crack, one solution was to have two top joints. Of course, the second top joint was in wood, so the idea was to create something that wasn't in wood and could not crack. Therefore, we did a lot of research for a composite material that could not change. The concept was that if a musician had a problem, they could still play the concert. This was not to replace wood, it was to help the player, to assure the player that wherever a musician goes, there was always a solution to any problem, and that the solution was right there in the case. That way, the player never has to think about it. For us it was difficult to do. But the prototypes were successful, and now I'm very happy because this really offers a new option. In France, for example, at Christmastime, everyone has concerts in churches. These churches are usually not very well heated, and normally we have a lot of crack repairs after the first of January! It may not be the Orchestre de Paris but it's awfully important to get out of the church with your oboe in working order!

Post: It's an interesting aside that one of the first composite Rigoutat oboes that was sold went to a player in Edmunton, Alberta, Canada. He selected a wood top joint plus the composite. He's thrilled, and the incredible thing is that the orchestra there has an outdoor summer season. So, you can see why the composite material can be such a lifesaver. Kreul has taken a different approach to this whole subject because he has a liner in the upper joint of all his oboes.

Kreul: Yes. We've done it for more than twenty years. If the wood changes a little bit, that's OK because there's a small gap between the two materials. There can't be any cracks on the outside. If, for any reason, though, the liner needs repairs, this is very difficult to do. That repair is one of our biggest problems.

Post: The two major oboe makers that use liners in the upper joint are Laubin and Kreul. Laubin's liner is not made of wood, and Kreul's is. Can you tell us a bit about this?

Kreul: First we used a liner that was made of a kind of rubber. But then we changed to wood because that way we were using exactly the same material as for the outside, and we found that it was better for the sound.

Post: Would you ever consider making a plastic or other composite material top joint for your oboes, or are you satisfied with the results of what you are doing now?

Kreul: We're very satisfied with what we are doing now. In addition, it's very difficult to find another material which has the same quality as grenadilla wood. Even when we try other kinds of woods, we always seem to have problems. I think the only alternative to grenadilla is plastic, or a composite material like Rigoutat has developed. But whether the sound and the scale are exactly the same, I just don't know, because we have never tried this.

Post: But, in any case, you have no cracks.

Kreul: No.

Post: None?

Kreul: No!

Post: What a great track record! Bravo. I'd like to continue by asking several of the manufacturers about their current thinking on cracks. As everyone here knows, the United States has every imaginable kind of temperature and climate variation. Then, add in South America, Winnipeg, Alaska and Hong Kong, and it's quite a challenge. I was wondering if any of you have any absolutely brilliant suggestions on how not to crack your oboes? (lots of laughter). Frankly, I'd really like to know!

Clark: Don't use it! (lots more laughter!)

Audience: But that's just like saying don't buy it in the first place!

Clark: Of course, the vast majority of cracks are between the trill keys and often the half-hole key on the upper joint between these three small holes. Why does it crack? It involves the moisture in the oboes. The wood swells on the inside of the bore. The outside is dry, and can't swell at the same rate, so it cracks.

Pullen: Also, the wood is at its thickest at that point of the oboe. The tension between the inside and the outside of the oboe at that location is overpowering.

Clark: In terms of prevention, oiling the bore is the most natural way of preventing the moisture from getting into the wood. Of course, it would be ideal to oil the inside of all the upper joint tone holes as well, because moisture tends to get into the end grains, and is frequently absorbed through the end grain of the wood. Certainly if you oil inside the trill keys and the half-hole tone hole, you would greatly reduce the risk of cracking.

Post: Have you used anything other than oil for this?

Clark: Well, there are all sorts of wood sealers on the market these days, and we have used some liquid wood sealers on some tone holes, and it's been very successful.

Post: Do you do this with all your oboes?

Pullen: It depends of where they are going and who is buying them. Another thing about cracking is that certain players are far more likely to crack their instruments than others.

Post: Sure. I sold a Marigaux oboe to someone in the Philadelphia Orchestra a few weeks ago, and he called me up after a week to say he was taking it and he'd already cracked it in three places! But he had played all day everyday in a different city on tour. No oboe can survive that! He said he knew he would crack it doing that, but that he was keeping it anyway!

Post: (looking at Mr. Kreul): Of course, you don't need to make any suggestions!

Kreul: No, I do have some suggestions. When we work on the wood, it's very important that the wood is not too dry. When you make a new instrument, and it's too dry, you can have problems when it is finally played. All that sudden humidity is like a sponge. It goes from dry to wet and wow, you've got problems. If it's too dry, it swells and you've got cracks.

Rigoutat: I would just like to add that in my experience, the biggest explanation for cracks is not variation in temperature so much as variation in humidity.

Rilba: Even me, I know that! (lots of laughter)

Post: Yves Rilba, although he's a businessman and not an oboe maker himself, supervises the biggest production of professional model oboes in the world, plus a crackerjack group of repairers in his Paris office, so he knows a lot more about the oboe than he's telling!

Rilba: Well, to tell you the truth, I agree with Mr. Kreul that you have to be careful that the wood is not too dry, and you have to be careful when you are turning the wood that it doesn't get too hot. We tell everyone to play in any new oboe gradually. Of course, some people seem to crack all their oboes, and some never crack their instruments. I don't have an explanation for this. I give you my word it's true that at Marigaux about 3% of our oboes crack. We believe and all the players agree with us that this is a very acceptable figure. And I'd also like to add that the two solutions of the Kreul and Rigoutat companies are very good solutions.

Post: You know, I can't even remember sending a Marigaux back to Paris to have an upper joint replaced. It could easily be 4 or 5 years or more since I've had to do this, and while that's quite an incredible record, it's also quite true! On the subject of cracking, I wanted to ask just a few questions about exotic woods. Most people play on grenadilla oboes, but there are a lot of exotic woods around. Laubin has made them for years, and some of you own exotic wood oboes; last night's concert, for example, was played on exotic wood instruments. From the manufacturing point of view, do you find any big differences?

Rigoutat: Nora, I would like to say something about violetwood or kingwood. We have found some old papers at our factory with catalogues of oboes made of violetwood before the Second World War. I think that, for a variety of reasons availability among them, people forget about these other woods after the Second World War. What I am saying is that these exotic woods are not new.

Post: Exactly. We know that the wood of preference for oboe manufacture during the 19th century was rosewood. Before that, it was boxwood. As the mechanism of the oboe became more and more complex, these woods just couldn't offer the stability the more complex mechanisms demanded. Grenadilla became the wood of preference as the oboe became more and more complex. Of course, nothing is new; nevertheless it's an interesting evolution.

Pullen: Do people realize, though, that grenadilla is actually a member of the rosewood family? All these exotic woods are members of the rosewood family; botanically, they are dalbergias, which is to say members of the rosewood family. It's certainly true that grenadilla is less susceptible to cracking than the others; there's no doubt about it.

Rilba: Yes, all of us have tried some of these different woods. From the point of view of pleasure as well as from the point of view of sound, of course. For us at Marigaux, we always come back to grenadilla because it's the best sound, it's relatively safe from cracks; grenadilla is the wood for oboes right now, aside from composite materials.

Post: Have any of you experienced problems with finding good quality wood?

Pullen: Not at the moment, but I do think it is something that is going to happen in the next fifty years. The amount of instrument production worldwide has increased considerably, and there may not be enough wood.

Clark: Not oboes, of course; we're talking about clarinets, since that's where most grenadilla wood goes. Clarinets are the culprits here, not the oboe!

Rilba: You should also remember that grenadilla wood is used almost entirely just for the music industry. Who else is using it? Other uses are so minimal, and none of this is killing the forests. From what I know, reforestation is not needed with grenadilla, because the trees take care of themselves and reproduce naturally. I don't think the day will come when we will run out of grenadilla. Maybe I'm wrong, but I hope I'm right.

Post: And the quality of the wood you receive?

Rigoutat: There isn't really a problem with the quality of wood, but there is a problem with pollution. There is a lot of pollution in Africa, and I think that affects the quality of the wood. In Africa, for example, there are no pollution control laws. People do exactly what they want to do. What we don't know is how the wood could be affected by this in the future. On the positive side, though, I think that we will all be dead before this is a real problem. We do find the quality of wood isn't as high as it used to be, but we're not talking about a dramatic change; it's OK.

Post: If those of your who were at OBOE BLOW-OUT NEW YORK remember, we talked about the wood that is rejected; the stuff you throw in the garbage. Everyone who was in New York said the percentage of rejected wood is between 10 and 13%, depending on the year, a bit like cane or wine. Buffet was there, too, and they said that 75% of their wood gets thrown in the garbage (laughter from all the panelists).

Rilba: Yes, and the supplier of Buffet's wood was there, and he basically said that if you are losing 75% of your wood, you need new employees!

Post: Yes. This was the wood maven of the planet, Mr. Jürgen Krauth of Hamburg, Germany. He was a very special guest at OBOE BLOW-OUT NEW YORK. He really tried to set the record straight in a very gentlemanly and diplomatic way, of course. As their supplier, he told them very politely to please check their figures, and they would see the facts. It was unforgettable for anyone to have the chutzpa to say something is 75% unusable, when a 12% rejection rate is the normal rejection rate in the industry.

Rigoutat: Yes. It's a natural product, and there can always be flaws. 12%, that's normal.

Post: I have thought about this for a year and a half now, and I have a comment to make. Several manufacturers do have composite materials, or multiple bore materials where an instrument can't crack. There is at least one manufacturer who approaches the player saying they shouldn't have a grenadilla oboe because God help you, there won't be a grenadilla tree left in Africa in two years, and you better switch right away to some composite material before the last tree goes. I had dinner recently with a member of the clarinet section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, who informed me that there will be no grenadilla trees left within two years. An approach like that frightens people. It's a scare tactic. I've gotten calls from people saying that they have to buy a composite material oboe because there aren't any trees left!!!! Beyond the obvious fact that these players have been misinformed is the psychological idea of marketing something by intimidation and by fear. I feel this is completely wrong. It is a lie. We had the world's greatest expert in grenadilla wood at OBOE BLOW-OUT NEW YORK, and those of us who were there or who read those articles know the facts. There is no 75% rejection rate in grenadilla wood. I'll never forget when Mr. Krauth said that the 75% rejection rate may be great for advertising, but it's not the truth.

Rigoutat: Yes. I remember well when he told us that the size of the wood reserves is about the size of England.

Rilba: That's not much!!!! (lots of laughter, with comments from the Howarth crew that they will talk to him later about this!)

Rigoutat: And the grenadilla trees don't need reforestation; they amply replenish themselves. The seeds just sprout from the ground, and no one needs to plant them.

Post: Of course, South America is another story, and Mr. Krauth explained all of this to us. But for grenadilla, no one needs to water the trees, and virtually no one even lives in these areas!

Rigoutat: So, let's look at it this way; let's put it very diplomatically; the wood reserve is about half of the size of France. They only use about fifty soccer fields worth of grenadilla wood a year. So, it's not a problem; it's nothing.

Post: OK. Then let me ask the next logical question. Since you now have a composite material, how do present the concept to an oboist?

Rigoutat: My first idea was that players could have both a wood and a composite top joint. The composite top joint is something you can keep all your life. You would never need to buy another one. This is not to replace grenadilla, it is to go with grenadilla. It's simply something to help the oboist.

Audience: Is it made to be interchangeable with a wood top joint? Do you get about the same tone quality?

Rigoutat: Yes to both questions. You keep the grenadilla bottom joint and the bell, and you just change the top joint when you would like to.

Audience: Kind of like a spare tire!

Post: Yes, but you have to fit both top joints very carefully. If you have a replacement top joint; if an instrument cracks badly and you have a new one made, for example; it's really important to have someone fit all this together very carefully, and to check all the mechanical, bore, and tuning details.

Audience: Nora, are you saying that if someone ordered an oboe with these two top joints, it's like you are buying two oboes where everything fits together perfectly? The top joints would be absolutely tailor-made to the bottom two joints just like you were buying a normal oboe?

Post: They should be cookie-cutter perfect and 100% interchangeable.

Audience: Then what I am hearing is that this is quite different from the old days, when you would order, for example, a plastic top joint that very often would be kind of different from the rest of the instrument.

Another member of the Audience: Yeah. That's why I always shied away from that plastic.

Post: Well, I think there are a lot of perspectives on this. This is just my opinion, but I think it's less than optimal if you get a top joint in the mail, and that's it. You could hate it, but it might never have fit right with the bridge keys, and there are often small tuning adjustments that need to be made. Who knows, maybe you would have loved it if it had been set up right in the first place!

Audience: Right.

Post: Personally, if I have to service two (or more) top joints for one person, I also do the tuning identically on all the top joints. If the tuning isn't identical on all the top joints, I won't let it out. That should be the standard, but what I'm saying is that when you get a top joint in a box, obviously no one has any idea what the rest of the instrument is like and, while I really understand the practical reasons for this, I still think it's unfortunate.

Audience: And what I'm saying is that that's what a lot of us who have played for years have experienced. Our experience has been that other, negative experience. That's what we have in our heads, so it's good to know things have changed.

Rigoutat: Yes. I didn't want to use plastic partly for this reason. Our composite material is not plastic and is completely inert material.

Audience: And what is the composite?

Rigoutat: Good question!

Post: That means the information is classified.

Audience: Going back to the question of wood, are we talking about the mpingo tree?

Rilba: Yes.

Audience: The Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania is doing research to reforest and insure that the wood is available, since this in an important industry for Tanzania.

Post: Nigel and John, I wanted to ask you some questions about your plastic top joints, particularly on the middle priced English horns. The funny thing about all this is that they never crack. Maybe I've seen one crack in eleven years? If the instruments just won't crack, why do you make them in plastic as well?

Clark: It's a question of the demand. We try to make what people ask for. It's that simple.

Pullen: All development of oboes is player-based. The manufacturer would probably be perfectly happy to go on as things are; the developments always come from the players. The manufacturer carries out the wishes of the oboist.

Going back to the plastic top-joint English horns for a moment, these are the student line instruments. Many of them are bought by institutions, and the may not be used regularly. So, when these instruments are played, someone wants to be sure they will work. A plastic top joint pretty much insures this.

Post: Thank you. I'd like to change the subject for a moment, and talk about new models of instruments that are coming out. I'd like to continue with Howarths, if I may. There's an instrument here that I'm not terribly familiar with the XL oboe. Can you tell us about it?

Clark: There have certainly been a lot of changes in our oboes over the last ten years, for example. If you look at the style of all oboe manufacturers over the last fifty years, the bodies have gotten much bigger in order to get a bigger, darker sound. This is particularly true with the top joints. This gives you the advantage of longer tone holes which give more stability. We were perhaps a bit later than some of the others in making a thicker-walled instrument, so the main thing we've been doing is producing a darker sounding oboe, which is what the customers want. The XL oboes reflect these changes, and this is our professional model oboe today. Our newest evolution of this model, coming out this year, has a slightly different placement of tone holes. The results, we believe, will create a more centered sound.

Post: Philippe, you have a new oboe d'amour, and I believe the first one here in Portland. Can you tell me a bit about the instrument?

Rigoutat: We had an oboe d'amour, but it wasn't efficient enough, and I decided that it was too difficult to correct the problems of the old instrument. Instead, I just wanted to start over again. It's often easier to design a new instrument than to correct the mistakes of an old one! My idea was not to make a little English horn, but to make a big oboe. I don't know how it is in the States, but in France it's like this: they only play oboe d'amour a few times a year, especially at Christmas, etc. Players just want to be able to pick the instrument up and play it. They don't want to spend two of three weeks getting used to it again. So, I wanted to make an instrument that responded and felt as closely as possible to the oboe. That way you could just take your (old) reed and play it. I wanted it to feel like an oboe, not like an English horn.

Post: Yves, I was thinking on the plane that Marigaux hasn't done anything earth-shatteringly different this year. Of course, you have a Plexiglas oboe, but that's not something for production. But you've made little changes...

Rilba: Yes. I always answer like this because this is how we work at Marigaux. We don't have a new model oboe every six months; something I can't understand anyway! For me, an oboe is an evolution. Of course, the Marigaux oboes of today are so very, very different from what we used to make fifteen years ago. That's for sure. But if you look at the instrument, you certainly won't see all the differences. Small changes in the bore, tone holes, undercutting, but you can't see it! Of course, it's entirely possible that we are wrong, that we should have a Super Deluxe Marigaux oboe but, for the moment, it's worked well the way we have done it.

Post: Staying like this and having it work well is a very interesting place to be. Actually, I have a big question for you. As far as I know, I service, repair, tune and sell more oboes by more different manufacturers than anyone in North America. And I play every oboe before it leaves. That's my job, and it's a lot of oboes. What's amazing about Marigaux is the consistency. Typically, someone comes in looking for a Marigaux. I might have five for them to try. They get all flustered. The reason is that they have difficulty choosing an instrument because they are all so consistent!

Rilba: I'm very pleased to hear that.

Post: Earlier today, I was trying to explain to Yves the idea of saying something is a real dog in English. It's not quite the same in French slang. The real achievement of Marigaux, it seems to me, is that there are no dogs. That may not sound like a lot, but it's really remarkable. Actually, I want to talk about dogs! Every weeks I get boxes and boxes of repairs, used oboes, etc. I've seen the dogs of the century, believe me! It's a constant barrage of instruments. Last week, for example, I was working on a brand new instrument. I did the servicing, got everything going, put a reed on it and played two notes. I told my assistant, who is a singer, that this was supposed to be an octave. I laughed so hard I almost cried. I said, "Let's find the customs bill. let's see what this thing really costs!" You know, from the player's point of view, you might own several instruments that you have chosen carefully. you like them. But when you have a production of 1,200 professional oboes a year like Marigaux, the mere idea of keeping the quality high is a tremendous challenge. I think everyone here would agree. Is that the biggest challenge in oboe making?

Rigoutat: Yes.

Rilba: I'm not fishing for compliments, but to keep that quality on that amount of oboes is quite a challenge!

Post: Is that more important than thinking about new design ideas?

Rilba: For Marigaux, yes. That's what we do.

Pullen: Right. Why think about new designs when the old one works well?

Post: OK. Let's go on to a few other things. Nigel and John were saying earlier that over the years, things have become a bit more international in the oboe world, and you no longer find the big tonal differences between players you found twenty years ago. When I was a kid, for example, you could tell whether it was the New York Philharmonic or the Boston Symphony by the oboe player. You heard two bars with the oboe player, and you knew the orchestra.

Audience: Right! You know, now, even between countries, you often can't tell. I was listening to something, wondering which American oboe player it was, and it turned out to be the English oboist Neil Black!

Post: But twenty years ago, you wouldn't have missed it, because he would have sounded a lot different, and probably we did, too! As a closing question, I'd like to ask you all how you feel about this more international approach to oboe playing. If you can't tell Neil Black from Ray Still on the radio, something has really changed. How has this affected you?

Kreul: Twenty years ago, there weren't too many oboe players in the Far East. But that's all changed now, and a lot of Japanese players come to Germany or to France to study oboe. There are many, many Japanese in German music conservatories, and they bring all that German influence back to Japan. The same with Korea, Taiwan, China, Scandinavia. That's one of the answers to this question. When large number of players study abroad, that really influences the kind of sound they bring back to their country.

Rilba: Yes. This pushed us to develop the oboe. After the war, say twenty-five or thirty years ago, the French sound was a very clear sound; the French liked a very clear and brilliant sound. Pierlot is a good example, and this was OK for France. But then, considering the cultural interchange going on with Germany, Japan, Korea, etc., we had to change our instruments. At that time, we couldn't sell a Marigaux oboe in Japan, and now virtually every professional player in Japan plays a Marigaux. We had to create something for that market, and that's what we did.

Clark: Students, particularly in Europe, often do at least their final year in an overseas conservatory. They feel they haven't really studied unless they've been to Germany or France for a year. So, there's so much more crossover between the different styles of playing now. There hasn't been so much of Europeans going to America, but that will probably just be question of time.

Pullen: The successful selling of other instruments in America other than the traditional Loree proves that it's possible. It has a long way to go, but it's going!

Post: Exactly. Philippe, in your grandfather's time, the Rigoutat oboe used to be the oboe for the French.

Rigoutat: It was not so much that the concept of my grandfather was necessarily a French one; it was more that since he was selling a lot in France, he was selling to French players. It's more like what Nigel was saying about making what our customers want.

(At this point the discussion split into about seven or eight simultaneous conversations with the makers about automatic, Prestini, thumb plate, and various other key systems which Americans rarely see.)

Post: If I can interrupt for just a second: we're amused at how strange the rest of the world seems to be. But we can be pretty strange, too! Consider that this country was the very last country in the modern world to use the third octave key. It was standard in Europe years before we ever used it. Some people don't want a low Bb resonance key. Laubin and Fox still don't make them on their oboes. The F resonance key, too. These have been standard forever, but we were the very last ones, we were the most conservative country in the world. We can say sure, these little British kids use thumb-plate oboes because they don't know much! But that's a mistake on our part because we've been so slow with a lot of things ourselves, and these are very helpful things that we could have had much earlier. Now, nearly everyone has a third octave, low Bb resonance and F resonance. I cringe , I want to disappear down a hole when someone wants me to sell a used Tabuteau model oboe for them.

We're going to have to start the next presentation now, so I'd like to thank everyone of our panelists as well as our wonderfully savvy audience!





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