Oboe Unbound: Contemporary Technique
Revised Edition 2014
by Libby Van Cleve
After decades of experimentation, musicians have begun to utilize a strikingly colorful palette of sounds on woodwind instruments. Flute, clarinet, and saxophone players, in many different musical settings, regularly use sounds that were unheard of in the middle of the twentieth century. Oboists, in comparison, have lagged somewhat behind their more adventurous colleagues.
In writing Oboe Unbound: Contemporary Techniques, author Libby Van Cleve opens up the tradition-bound assumptions of the instrument’s capabilities. Not only does she include descriptions of the instrument’s standard technique from range and reeds to the use of vibrato, but she also discusses recent techniques, such as multiphonics, microtones, altered timbres, and extended range, to name a few. Van Cleve bolsters this book with numerous music examples and professionally-tested fingering charts, and concludes with basic information about the use of electronics for amplification, recording, and sound enhancement.
The book’s appendixes include a substantial bibliography of music and literature and a discography including jazz, non-western, and art music recordings. The revised edition incorporates new information about resources now available through the internet and marks the launch of a website that includes examples of all the contemporary sounds as well as audio and video recordings of unreleased compositions.
Libby Van Cleve is recognized as one of the foremost interpreters of chamber and contemporary music for oboe. She is the oboe teacher at Wesleyan University and Connecticut College and the director of Oral History of American Music at Yale University.