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Oboes of the World

Their spiritual, psychological, and historical meaning worldwide

A lecture-performance by Brenda Schuman-Post

What does the sound of the oboe mean to humanity?

The modern oboe has folk and sacred counterparts almost everywhere. Virtuoso oboist Brenda Schuman-Post displays and demonstrates her collection of shawms (oboes) from Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and Europe. With photographs and audio recordings of authentic performances by indigenous musicians, she explores the ceremonial role of the shawm in world culture, its connection to nature, and its imagery in art and literature. She illustrates how the style of playing these instruments can influence and enhance modern oboe technique and music.

Oboes of the World is a lecture-performance covering the history and use of the oboe (shawm) worldwide. Brenda Schuman-Post displays and demonstrates 30 ethnic oboes, shows photographs of master musicians from 20 different cultures, and plays recent, recorded examples of their musics. She reveals how ethnic music and western music have influenced one another and how listening to ethnic music can inform, enhance, and enrich our understanding of all styles of contemporary American music. Oboes of the World can be crafted to accommodate the needs of a particular university department, group of courses, lecture series, school, etc. The presentation might be of interest to students of contemporary classical, popular, jazz and world musics, composition, ethnomusicology, music therapy, music history, visual arts especially wood crafts, anthropology, ethnobotany, history, multicultural studies, travel, and more.

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