Reeds of Famous oboists
I am a huge nerd when it comes to anything oboe related. I love to see what oboe reed makers are doing with their reeds, what tools they are using and what insights they may have to share. One of my favorite books Oboe Reed Styles: Theory and Practice by David Ledet. Ledet’s book looks at the reeds of famous oboists and talks about their dimensions, player concepts, and shows pictures. I suggest the book to any person interested in seeing all the different ways there are to make oboe reeds.
I am always expressing to students that they need to understand the concepts of oboe reed making more than a specific process, not because I am not confident in my own process as a teacher, but because they need to develop a system that works well for them. They need to take what their teachers know and improve upon it. I make pretty traditional long scrape American style reeds, but even within that category, there are variations. The oboe reeds pictured below are all what I would call the traditional American style, but there are visual differences, as well as tonal differences in the oboists themselves.
I am always searching for some great insight as an oboist. I look to the great masters of the present and past hoping I may learn something. Perhaps by observing their reeds, and listening to their recordings I can understand a little of what makes the music they make so special. The music that each oboist from this list created presents me with inspiration. Seeing the reeds makes me see what to strive for as a reed maker, and hearing the recordings makes me expand my concept of what to sound like as and oboist.
I hope to start a collection of pictures of reeds of famous oboists of the past and current. Please consider sending me pictures of your teacher’s reeds, or your reeds if you are playing professionally. Happy Obo-ing -Aaron