Topic: Newbie Ques: Start with baroque?

I'm seriously thinking about taking up playing the oboe.
I've no experience at all. I want to learn to play a musical instrument and just love the sound of the oboe, especially the baroque oboe d'amore.

My question therefore is: Is it feasible to start with this instrument right away or would it be better to first learn on a modern instrument?
I'm especially concerned about finding a teacher. (I'm situated in Vienna)

I'm not bothered about hard work or a long beginners period. Mostly I want to do it for the learning experience.

All comments are welcome.

Re: Newbie Ques: Start with baroque?

Thanks for the informative reply!

Christopher Brodersen wrote:

If I understand you correctly, your ultimate goal is to play (Baroque) oboe d'amore.

Well, my ultimate goal is to learn an instrument I like to listen to. Since I'm not very experienced, I'm not fixed on one particular type.
It just happens that with my current knowledge I like the baroque oboe d'amore.

In my opinion it's much easier to start out on the soprano Baroque oboe. Intonation can be quite challenging on the Baroque oboe d'amore--it's better to get a feel for response, overblowing to the second octave, etc., on the regular soprano Baroque oboe.

My reasoning was that if I one day will play a oboe tuned differently, it will be hard to change because I'm used to the fingering of the soprano.
But from your explanations it seems the smaller challenge compared to the difficulty of intonation.

You could also start on modern oboe. In your town people play the Vienna oboe, a wonderful instrument that shares many similarities with period oboes. Reed-making is one of the biggest hurdles for beginning students, and if you were to learn to make Vienna-style reeds, that might give you a "leg up" on making historical reeds. The famous Viennese oboist Juerg Schaeflein (who was also a consummate player of the Baroque oboe) once told me that being able to make Vienna-style reeds gave him a distinct advantage.

By all means, find a good teacher. There should be several people in Vienna capable of teaching Baroque oboe, although I don't know of any personally. There is also the Gesellschaft der Freunde der Wiener Oboe--perhaps they can help.

I've found their site and contacted them already concerning renting an instrument.
I must say, I'm having second thoughts when I look at the prices for new oboes.

Hope this helps.

Yes it has! Thank you.

I've done some more reading here and elsewhere and I'd like to summarize advantages of starting with the baroque vs. first learning modern oboe:
Modern: easier on intonation; more players, therefore more teachers; wider choice of music; knowing 2 instruments
Baroque: cheaper instrument; easier fingering; no need to relearn later on

Would you concur with these conclusions?
Does someone want to add more advantages?

It's not an easy choice at all.

Re: Newbie Ques: Start with baroque?

Christopher Brodersen wrote:
Shelby wrote:

My reasoning was that if I one day will play a oboe tuned differently, it will be hard to change because I'm used to the fingering of the soprano.

The soprano oboe and the oboe d'amore are fingered exactly the same, so no need to worry about that. The d'amore is a transposing instrument in A. A piece written in C major will sound in A major on the d'amore.

Yes, that's what I've meant.

The real reason to choose one instrument over the other is music--if you wish to specialize in Baroque music, then play the Baroque oboe. Otherwise, play a modern instrument. Baroque music works very well on modern, especially if you respect the style.

Thanks for your reasonable comments. It now really seems to be the more practical way, to start with a modern instrument.

And, there are a lot more people out there who play at modern pitch, as opposed to a'=415 Hz. In other words, more opportunities to play in ensembles with modern.

Right now I'm not concerned with playing together. I just want to learn it for myself.
But this might change in a few years...

Incidently, the prices I saw on your link are commensurate with prices from the leading manufacturers of the Conservatoire oboe--Howarth, Loree, Rigotat, etc. Not out of line at all. The "Modell für Einsteiger" is actually quite preiswert.

I didn't want to imply that the prices where out of line. I know that qood quality has its price.
It's just that compared to some other instruments, the oboe seems to be quite expansive. It's a considerable investment, especially when one is just starting out and still a little unsure.

Anyway, thanks for all your helpful comments!