Archive for the ‘Intermediate Oboe’ Category

# 17 Dynamics for Intermediate Oboists

# 1

In book two the intermediate oboist needs to play at multiple volume levels (dynamics) and perform crescendos (gradually playing louder) and diminuendos (gradually playing softer).  As the oboist increases their volume level of sound, the pitch goes higher or sharper as the air goes faster; thus, the oboist has to balance this dynamic by opening up the space between their teeth while the lips are around the reed; thus, causing the reed tip to open.  This brings down the pitch so that the pitch stays constant and in tune as you play louder.  As the oboist decreases the volume of their sound and decreases the volume of air going through the reed the pitch goes lower or flatter.  Keeping the embouchure firm and closing the reed slightly keeps the pitch constant and in tune.    Playing beautiful dynamics on the oboe while maintaining a constant pitch that is in tune on every note takes daily practice.

# 2

When playing a solo, the oboist needs to project their sound and play above the accompaniment.  When playing in the band, orchestra, or small ensemble, the oboist needs to focus on blending with other instrument; thus, the dynamics may need to be played with less projection..  One oboist can balance 6-10 flutists.  Two oboists in a band of 60-80 players provides a good balance of sound.  The same is true in a full orchestra.

# 3

The oboe is a powerful instrument.  On the drums piccolos in their upper register, bagpipes, and trumpets are louder.  Thus, bagpipe bands, fife and drum corps, and drum and bugle corps have been very popular outdoor marching bands over the years internationally.

# 4

It is important for the oboists to practice long tones and play single notes from 1-5-1 (1=piano and 5 =forte) with crescendos and diminuendos on each note of the low, middle, and upper registers of the oboe.  With each reed there will be a slightly different level of resistance.  The very beginning of the sound and the very ending of the sound is most critical in this type of exercise.  Thus, the reed needs to be easy to articulate the piano dynamic at the beginning and end with a beautiful diminuendo that gradually ends in silence.

# 5

Dynamics are very colorful on the oboe.  Hearing the oboe playing at all dynamic ranges is a very impressive sound.  Depending on the compositions being performed and the size of the ensemble performing , the oboist needs a special reed to accommodate the expectations of the composer regarding the dynamics in all registers of the oboe.  First oboists need a reed for the upper register.  Second oboists need a reed for the lower register.  Oboe recitalists need a reed for all registers.

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