Date of Award
Professor Ralph Rauch
The birth of the woodwinds as we know them today came in the time of Lully with the invention of the oboe in France. The woodwinds developed mainly as a means of producing a variety of contrasting tone colors. The four main woodwinds--flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon--produce four very different sounds, yet blend perfectly well.
In the early days of the orchestra the woodwind section consisted of a pair of oboes, usually playing a melody in thirds. Sometimes the performers would lay down their oboes and play flutes or recorders. Later two bassoonists were added, mainly to provide an independent bass line.
Nicholson, Juanita, "A Short Summary of the History of the Flute" (1969). Honors Theses. 486.