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It's called the soprano sarrusophone...
 

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Out of curiosity, did anyone ever make a metal oboe (like they did clarinets for a while)?
Apparently yes. I have a copy of a B&H Year Book from 1941 which includes an ad for their "Artist" model, available in wood or ebonite at £30 or metal at £39.

Good luck trying to find one though ... !
 

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selmer 26 nino, 22 curved sop, super alto, King Super 20 and Martin tenors, Stowasser tartogatos
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It would be nice to get the oboe to have automatic register keys, instead of the 3 it currently uses in full system (IIRC, it's been a long while since I've touched an oboe).
Well actually many cheaper oboes use an automatic octave key, but all the pros I know prefer the manual one. It's not a big problem to get used to and it is much more reliable. The sax-oboe requires lifting the finger entirely for C#-Eb in the second octave, whereas the conservatory-system requires only rolling the finger slightly to uncover the vent. Newer oboes have a third octave thumb key for altissimos, something which the sax should also adopt.

Toby
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
The sax-oboe requires lifting the finger entirely for C#-Eb in the second octave, whereas the conservatory-system requires only rolling the finger slightly to uncover the vent.
Some of us lift LH1 off for these notes as the top fingerplate is screwed down so it barely moves (but there's still a tiny amount of movement in it).

Newer oboes have a third octave thumb key for altissimos, something which the sax should also adopt.
Some Selmer altos and tenors have a 3rd 8ve key (an extra thumb touch set to the top left of the thumb button), though saxes will go up into the stratosphere easily with the standard 8ve mechanism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Well actually many cheaper oboes use an automatic octave key, but all the pros I know prefer the manual one. It's not a big problem to get used to and it is much more reliable.
Most oboes have semi-automatic 8ves whereby you can keep your thumb on the back 8ve touch and open the upper vent with LH1 which automatically closes the lower 8ve vent. http://www.howarth.uk.com/pic.aspx?pic=./wo/HowarthXLBWTPOboe.jpg&pid=35115

Simple 8ves are two seperate keys (only fitted to the most basic thumbplate system oboes) which means you have to release the thumb before opening the upper 8ve key which can be awkward. http://www.howarth.uk.com/pic.aspx?pic=./wo/HowarthS10.jpg&pid=35101

Most German and East European players have fully automatic 8ve keys as on saxes. http://www.howarth.uk.com/pic.aspx?pic=./wo/HowarthXLAutoCocoGold.jpg&pid=566745 and http://www.howarth.uk.com/pic.aspx?pic=./wo/HowXLAutoOboeBW.jpg&pid=35119

The sax-oboe requires lifting the finger entirely for C#-Eb in the second octave, whereas the conservatory-system requires only rolling the finger slightly to uncover the vent.
Some of us lift LH1 off for these notes as the top fingerplate is screwed down so it barely moves (but there's still a tiny amount of movement in it).

Newer oboes have a third octave thumb key for altissimos, something which the sax should also adopt.
Some Selmer altos and tenors have a 3rd 8ve key (an extra thumb touch set to the top left of the thumb button which opens an extra vent key on the crook), though saxes will go up into the stratosphere easily with the standard 8ve mechanism.
 

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Older oboes without the third octave key can also go right up, it is just easier with the correct venting, as it would be on sax.

Toby
 

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It would go part way to alleviating some of the discrepancies if you were to swap around the RH pinkie Eb and C keys - If I remember correctly they are the opposite way around on the oboe, to the sax. It wouldn't be a great technical challenge to change them so they match, probably an instrument technician could manage that with no problem. When I blew oboe for a while as a 2nd instrument (after the sax) I was forever playing the wrong note with those keys.
 

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As someont that trained on the (English thumbplate system) Oboe , I now have a Fosatti (Dual system) then went on to Sax (I have all four) then Clarinet/Flute. I don't really see the point of a Sax fingering on the Oboe, it might cause me problems as I'm so used to the Oboe fingering. I have no problems doubling for shows etc I just go into Oboe mode when holding one, same with Clarinet. Many years ago, there was a Sax fingering Oboe around I believe? Chris I think we met many years ago at Swanage Middle School, I was there as the Peri (still am) you came with a Trombone player and played in Bournemouth Youth Jazz Orch which I run, or have I got that wrong?
 

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I think this is even starting to change. I could be wrong but in my *limited* experience the german youth are switching to the semi-automatic system as they advance in studies. What little advantage that comes with the automatic for 2nd octave A/B/C is lost when you approach the upper range. Also they can't play harmonics off the second octave which is extremely usefull (first movement of the Britten 6 metamorphosis for example)

Also, now most thumblate systems are made as a dual-system so that with the thumb key pressed you have the the thumb plate system and without it you have a standard conservatory.

Marigaux oboes have been using the third octave key since 1950 i think. It caught on in a lot of europe but did not become standard in the US until the 80s or so? It is not needed but can be helpful for some high notes. Its still debatable as to exactly where the third octave key does best. For me, someone who has never had a third octave key, I find that I *never* use it. I get by ok but I also tend to stay in a more modest range and rarely go above the "altissimo" G.

In short a "sax-system" would only be useful for someone who has learned saxophone first. There are already several options to be brought up on oboe. Truth be told most people who play oboe don't switch from saxophone so for the money in the investment of the machines to make new keywork/bores/tone hole drilling etc... it would make for an extremely expensive oboe that was only of marginal use to the sax-oboe public. I did not start playing oboe seriously until I was 22 (i was brought up a very serious classical saxophonist...hours of practice a day on scales and the whole nine yards) but I adapted very quickly. I think it is more realistic to have a saxophonist take the extra 10 hours to switch their pinky tendency around and get used to half-holing etc.. Unless you have a small fortune to invest i suppose...

Also, chris do you really lift your first finger off for the half holes? How does that work for you? For me I cant imagine being able to keep my technique clean for something like the Rossini La Scala di Seta when you're double tonguing sixteenth note scale passages all over the half hole. The pivot is such a quick motion that I don't think I personally could even come close to the same speed. How is intonation changed? Do you ever get funky sounds for articulation? My first key doesn't open a big distance but its really finicky for me. If i don't treat it well it doesn't treat me well!
 

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I have owned a few Loree sax-oboes- all excellent, except the in staff C, middle finger left hand was weak and fuzzy.
I now have a Kohlert sax-oboe that plays exquisitely throughout the entire range, no anomalies whatsoever. Responds like a dream. Beautifully engineered.
Even the middle finger Cs left hand both octaves absolutely beautiful. The Kohlert also has two keys the Loree sax-oboe lacks, a high F key, and
a G#-A trill (one finger) mechanism.

Makers of sax-oboes: Loree, Kholert, Moenning (the metal ones for decorative purposes only), Louis (London), and likely Cabart. Perhaps Buescher, Paris as well.

I have a "simple system" Heckel oboe d'amore c. 1921 in Maplewood with Viennese bell (the only exampleof a Viennese style bell on any Heckel oboe instrument), and a triple vent automatic octave system
(also unique). Descends to low Bb. Has right hand side keys for C (B#) and Bb (A#). The instrument is without fault, and the sound is ethereal. However, using
the sax fingerings on the upper joint, and oboe fingerings on the lower joint is truly a major pain. I can not bring myself to convert the instrument to Conservatory system- such a conversion would destroy the historic merit of the instrument entirely.
However, many Heckelphones have been modified extensively, "simple system" instruments converted to Conservatory system, single side key (model 36i) converted to Conservatory, and often extra articulations added to the keywork. Even the most extensive additions and re-engineering to Heckelphones is usually looked upon favorable- making a good instrument even more desirable and easier to play.
Speaking of sax-oboes, the Lupophon should be mentioned. Although the Luphon is exactly the same fingering as one would expect on English horn, because the distance between hand positions is about the equivalent of that of a baritone sax, I find myself trying to use sax fingerings whenever I play Lupophon. Otherwise, a first class instrument in every respect.
Peter [email protected]
 

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The Boehm system oboes (Buffet, etc) I own tell me that they missed the boat in making them as they are quite awkward to finger and the modern system oboe is much more user friendly. They should have had some help from a clarinet maker but they are clearly made by oboe makers. The bores and body sizes were like other oboes of that time, bright sounding. If there were a market today, a maker could make a useable Boehm system oboe with a modern sound, however, I believe.

I also have a Moennig metal automatic oboe that plays ok, and may have been made for military bands. It will never compare with a Loree, however.

It's still a matter of learning to make useable, stable oboe reeds.

Good Wishes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
There's no reason why a Heckelphone can't be made with sax-style keywork (from low A to high F# or G). The tonehole spacing will be pretty much as found on a C melody and the low A key can be actuated by the left thumb as on saxes as well. Maybe the Lupophone could be made to special order with sax-style keywork which could have a pricetag far less prohibitive than that of a Heckelphone.

A tenor Sarrusophone or tenor Rothphone are the nearest things made in metal to a Heckelphone (nearer than a C melody or tenor sax), though both of them are pitched in Bb like tenor saxes.
 

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A Sarrusophone is basically a metal oboe with sax fingerings. Doesn't Orsi still make those? I bet they could make one out of plastic or wood! Even if it was practical to make a sax-system oboe, It might run into the same problems of acceptance as the Boehm bassoon. It wouldn't sound like the conservatory system instruments, just as the Boehm bassoon doesn't sound like the German system instruments.
 

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I don't think the biggest problem with the oboe is the fingering system. Sound production, embouchure and the necessity of making and adjusting reeds and developing the abdominal vibrato. Fingering is really not the major obstacle at all.
 

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My daughter plays oboe and sax equally, and plans to play professionally on both. This past summer she did get to try Paul Cohen's sax-fingering oboe. The main problem was that the oboe was not built well (one of 10 made in the 1930's by Loree) and the sound was not the typical Loree quality. However the sax fingerings and more importantly the positioning are more ergonomically correct. If an oboe could be made with sax-system fingerings that did not compromise on sound, she would certainly try/buy one.
 
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