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Playing techniques of the flute and oboe


Tuning, range, sound and playing techniques of the flute and oboe.
The C flute is the most acute of the woodwinds instruments.
It is tuned in C and is written with a treble clef at real pitch. We tune a flute by changing the length of its tube.
Its range extends from the low Do 2 under the stave, up to the C note, 6 ledger lines above the stave, and sometimes higher.
The bass register is dark and rich in overtones, the midrange is soft and full and in the high register the sound is clear and bright, even whistling in the upper extreme.
As with all the wind instruments, breathing is essential, especially in the low register which has a big volume and requires a lot of air.
The detached sounds are organized around three articulations:
- Simple articulation on the consonant "T"
- Double articulation on the consonants "TK"
- Triple articulation on the consonants "TKT"
We can produce different sounds: the staccato, an expressive legato, the "flatterzungue" obtained by the rolling of the tongue, and the trill

The oboe is in a range located just below the flute, is a double reed instrument which is written in treble clef, at real pitch.
Its range goes from the "Bb" below the stave up to the acute G note, 4 additional lines above the stave.
The timbre of the bass register is pretty rough and bulky and can be playe in a "mezzo forte" to "forte" dynamic.
The midrange retains a warm sound and the high register is fine and clear, even a little bit pale in the extreme high register.
Technically, the oboe remains lyrical and expressive, its breath still remains the most important of the woodwind family.
Its double reed allows a simple articulation only and playing "legato" is very effective in a moderate tempo.
Like the flute, the oboe can produce sounds "staccato", expressive "legato" with vibrato or trills.