Oboe/pitch of oboes


Dear Geoffrey,

Can you tell me which oboes are made to play at A 440?  I am considering taking a 2004 Puchner on trial, but have read somewhere that they are tuned high.  I also have interest in trying a Chauvet BW, SN 225, said to be made possibly about 1965, and a professional model oboe manufactured in Australia, by Tony Ward.  In addition, I have interest in Marigaux oboes.  It is critical to me that any oboe I purchase will play at A 440.  I currently play on a Laubin, own an older Loree, and also an older Dupin, the latter seems to be pitched higher than A 440. Please advise me!

thank you,

Dear Tracy

Lots of newer oboes are pitched for Europe and that is at A=442cps. However in my experience and that of several other professional colleagues the new Marigauxs are pitched rather lower in practise. I have a fight to get my Marigaux 901  which is a year old, up to 440! Some of these Marigauxs made five or six years ago were flatter than comfortable. The heavier walled instruments often demonstrate a flatter pitch but I have no trouble at all with my Loree Royal or Buffet Greenline oboes both of which designed around a thicker wall.
Howarth oboes are worth a look too. Their XL range are built to play at about 441-442 but are daily brought into line.

The German made oboes such as Puchner or Monnig whilst comfortable at 442-444 can be made to play down to 440.
A slightly longer reed and relaxed embouchure will bring down the pitch.

Hope this helps you make up your mind.



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Geoffrey Bridge


Professional oboist with many years experience. Former pupil of Leon Goossens. Solo artist for Arts Council of Great Britain. Freelance recitalist/broadcasting/orchestras. Former Head of woodwind teaching in Hampshire, England. Questions on repertoire, playing styles, reeds, cane selection and processing.


Royal College of Music, Aberdeen College of Education Licenciate of the Royal Academy of Music General Teaching Council certificate Broadcast solo recitals/performed with major symphony orchestras/Music Club recitals/writings on double reed matters

Treasurer/Advertising Manager and Trustee of the British Double Reed Society International Double Reed Society Association Hautbois Francais Southern Pro Musica Orchestra/Aberdeen Sinfonietta

Double Reed News/Australasian Double Reed Society magazine

LRAM, Cert Ed

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