Topic: Baroque oboe - which pitch center?

I have been doing more research on the possibility of purchasing a baroque oboe after my last set of postings. All very helpful suggestions.

Standard for baroque ensembles tuning wise is 415. However, there seem to be many Baroque oboes at 430 and 440. I have even found a couple at 442. My question is which pitch center is most "friendly" in the professional world?

Do I stay with 440 since I most likely won't be playing with an ensemble and only doing solo work? If I go 440 am I sacrificing any of the "deep lush sound" that one becomes so enamored with when listening to the baroque oboe? Are there any horns being made with interchangeable length parts to function both at 415 and 430/440?

The more research I do, the more questions I come up with!

Thanks in advance,


Shawn Reynolds
Professor of Oboe/EH - Youngstown State University
Howland Schools - MS (director of bands); HS (Asst. Dir of Bands, Marching, Symphonic)


Re: Baroque oboe - which pitch center?

I would think you would want to get one at 415.  While there were original baroque oboes at around A 440, most of them were lower.  Scaling the oboe to make it sharper changes the tonal characteristics.  If you are doing solo work, you will probably play with a harpsichord, so A 415 makes more sense (I have never played baroque oboe with a piano).

oboe (French, Viennese, baroque), bassoon (German, French, baroque), shawm, dulcian