If there is no bell key then it is a beginner oboe. Beginner oboes usually have two holes on the bell that you have to cover with your knees to play low Bb. Beginner oboes usually don't have a left hand F key either.
Oboegirl: Yeah, most beginner oboe's don't have Left F, but they all should! Ah, I don't know how people live without left F!!! At my local music store the oboist made the store only carry oboe's with left F's for rental and sale. I still can't believe some oboe's don't have it. It is a must!!!!!!!
I don't really know the difference between a beginner and intermediate but probably an intermediate model would have wood body, open holed b, a, g, e, and maybe split D. Deffinitly Left F, low Bb, Forked F vent and maybe the extra C key (banana key?).
yes, I am having to use a rental beginner oboe while mine gets fixed, and I keep reaching over to play left F, but its not there!!
I agree with canadian, I have never seen a wood student oboe. However, I currently own an intermediate oboe that is made out of plastic. I think the best way to tell is to look for keys that are "missing" like the bell key and left F. Also, some beginner oboes don't have a resonance key. To check for this, finger forked F. if you have to add the Eb key to make it sound in tune, then there is no resonance key.
There are other things besides the amount of keywork which distinguish different levels of oboe - the higher the grade the more hand finishing should be done eg tuning of individual notes; the bore might be different giving a different sound. But of course these are not obvious.
I'm sorry but I really think that left F is a must. It is essential to learn the proper fingerings for passages. And for notes like D to F or Eb to F you can't always use Forked F. Left F is a must and to play oboe well today you need to use left F.
I played for many years on an oboe without the L hand F; never noticed the absence. Now I have the L hand F and often forget to use it.
Once you get used to it it's not a big deal; however I agree with you that certain passages are easier. Clearly not impossible.
...also the forked F is used in just the situations you describe: before and after: e flat, d, c sharp and low c,b, bflat
What I can't imagine is playing the low b flat by covering a hole with your knees; my oboe isn't that close to my knees when I play
depends on the oboe and the player marcel tabuteau liked the forked F!
Mine sounds fine; I have a good professional instrument and I like the fingering; there are places it is very useful. On my intermediate oboe the forked F isn't quite as nice even with the E flat
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