Mr. Fred J. Allen

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Intonation Tendencies of Wind Instruments

Flute  | Oboe  | Bassoon  | Clarinet  | Saxophone  | Brass & Percussion 

Quick-reference Guide to Oboe Intonation Problems Get Adobe Reader!

  • The reed is extremely influential on oboe intonation.
  • Reed pulled out = flatter, pushed in = sharper
  • Good oboists make their own reeds to play at A = 440 with the reed pushed all the way in.  It harms response to pull the reed out because of the "bubble" created in the receiving tube.
  • Temperature:  cold = flat, hot = sharp
  • Reed strength:  hard reed = sharp, soft reed = flat
  • Embouchure:  (sometimes directly related to reed strength) loose embouchure = flat, pinched embouchure = sharp
  • Range:  Generally lower register tends toward flatness, but the upper register can go either way depending on the reed and player.  An experienced player tends toward sharpness in the upper register.
  • ynamic level:  Loud = flat, soft = sharp but not as predictable in this factor as clarinet/sax.  It depends so much on the reed.


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