Note: Do not rely on this information. It is very old.
Oboe, or Hautboy, a wind-instrument of wood in which the tone is produced by means of a double reed of cane fastened by silk thread to a short metal staple. This staple is attached to the uppermost of the three joints of which the instrument, as now made, consists. The lowest joint has an outward curve like that of a bell. The compass is commonly from B below the stave to F in alt. The oboe has a rich, though small, tone, and is used in the orchestra to give the pitch (in the key of C) to other instruments.