So, first things first…

clarinet-and-oboe

While the clarinet and oboe are both instruments of the woodwind family and do look very similar, there are quite a few differences between them…

1 )  The Appearance 

If you were to look from afar, these would look almost identical. However, there are a few small differences that will help you tell them apart.

CLARINET OBOE
Includes: Bell, Lower Joint, Upper Joint, Barrel and Mouthpiece Includes: Bell, Lower Joint, Upper Joint, Staple and a Reed
Single Reed Double Reed
Cylindrical Bore Conical Bore
Flared Bell Rounded Bell
Mostly Open Tone Holes  Mostly Closed Tone Holes
 Length: 27.5 Inches  Length: 26 Inches

2 )  The Reed

clarinet-oboe-reedThis is arguably one of the biggest differences. Most people will know and recognise that the clarinet has a single reed that sits on the mouthpiece and is held by a ligature. On the other hand, the oboe is a double reed instrument which means it uses two reeds sat next to each other to produce a sound. This contributes to the different tones created by these two instruments and the technique/embouchure needed to play them.

3 )  The Tone

Another difference is the tone it produces. The different tones is caused by many things, including the reeds and bore. The clarinet produces a mellow, rounded tone, especially in the lower ranges. On the other hand, the tone that an oboe produces is much brighter and clear which is derived from its conical bore. The oboe is mainly used in classical music, whereas the clarinet is used in more genres such as jazz, due to its larger range and softer tone.

Despite these differences, they aren’t worlds apart. The clarinet and oboe are both woodwind instruments which means they both require similar embouchure’s and similar breathing techniques.

oboe-and-flower

Fun fact: If you have ever been to watch an orchestra and you hear everyone tuning to the first oboe, this is because the oboe is in the key of C (concert pitch) and is easily heard over all the other instruments due to its unique tone.

Clarinets

Sonata Student Bb Clarinet 

So, you’re looking to play the clarinet but not sure what model to go for? This Sonata clarinet is very popular with educational services and beginners of any age. It is an excellent sounding clarinet through the range and is great value for money. Constructed with an ABS body, the instrument is light, robust and and has a responsive tone. The power forged nickel silver keys and adjustable thumb rest makes this clarinet even easier to play. Things included with the clarinet;

  • sonata-clarinetClarinet
  • Mouthpiece
  • Ligature
  • Mouthpiece cap
  • Cork grease
  • Carry case
  • Detachable straps

 

There is also a pack available which includes many more accessories, such as a clarinet stand, a care kit and a box of reeds.

Oboes

In contrast to the clarinet, the oboe is much more expensive. For example, the Howarth S20 Oboe is currently at £2,349 (price in April 2019). But don’t get me wrong, it is a great instrument and definitely worth the price if you are looking to take this into a professional career playing the oboe.

However, if you are just starting out, you should be pointing in the direction of our Sonata Oboes. They are at a much lower price, whilst not lacking in quality.

sonata-student-oboeSonata Junior Oboe

This Junior Oboe by Sonata is ideal for beginners and is perfect for smaller hands. If you have never played the oboe before, you may want to start on this. It has simplified key work and is therefore much easier to learn.

Sonata Student Oboe

The Student Oboe is an oboe with all the standard keys. If you are beginner and don’t want to splash the cash on an expensive instrument, like all sonata products, this would be perfect. Despite the low cost, it does not lack in quality. It’s made with a ABS resin body, meaning its robust and lightweight. It has 28, nickel silver plated keys and a thumb plate mechanism, which is a requirement for any oboe player.

About the author

Lucy joined Normans in November 2018 after finishing her A-Levels, one of them being Music. A very talented musician who plays the Saxophone, Clarinet and Piano to a high standard. I'm sure you'll agree, she's a great addition to the Sales Team. In Lucy's spare time, she loves to travel!

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