Oboe D’Amore

oh-boh duh-mor
The oboe d'amore is a woodwind double reed instrument that is used particularly for playing the baroque era of classical music. It is pitched a minor third below a standard oboe and has a spherical bell that resembles that of a cor anglais. The oboe d’amore has a sweet soft sound.
History of the Oboe D'Amore
The oboe d’amore appeared in the 16th century, though there is little knowledge of an inventor. Early instrument makers included Leipzig-based JH Eichentopf. The oboe d’amore quite literally translates to “oboe of love” from latin and was first adopted by German composers like Christopher Graupner. The sweet sound of the oboe d’amore comes from the lower tone holes and a lack of a venting hole that gave the instrument its mellow sound. German composer Johann Sebastian Bach adopted the oboe d’amore for a few of his compositions in the late 16th and early 17th century but the oboe d’amore seemed to be not destined to become a staple of the classical music orchestra; instead it is mostly notable today for playing the music of the baroque era. However there are some notable exceptions such as the musician Jennifer Paull, who dedicated her career to the instrument as a soloist with the oboe d’amore.
Inventor: JH Eichentopf

Where to Buy

£200 - £3,000

Hear the Oboe D'Amore

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How to Play

A variation of the oboe with a slightly lower pitch and a sweeter tone. It's played like a regular oboe, but requires more breath support and a softer reed due to its size.

In Popular Music

The oboe d'amore is not often credited in popular music but it may have been used by singer-songwriters like Bob Dylan on 'Lay Lady Lay' and Nick Drake on his song 'Riverman'. This unique instrument can also be featured in classic pieces such as Qui Sedes by JS Bach.

Famous Players

Marcel Tabuteau, John Mack

Close Relations

Oboe, Cor Anglais
Video Credit: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Understanding the Oboe D'Amore




18th century






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