How to speak "Oboe-ese"
(glossary of oboe-related terms!)

Full Conservatory-
As opposed to the ring-key Thumbplate system (open-holes), the conservatory system is the prevalent system in the US. It features the covered keys and numerous trill keys. In other words, it has all the "bells and whistles".
Modified or Simplified Conservatory-
Same as Full Conservatory, with the exception that certain trill keys are omitted.
Full Automatic-
There is only one octave key, because the octave mechanism is automatic. These oboes don't have the side octave key.
Semi Automatic-
These oboes have the side octave key. This type of system is the preferred system in the United States.
Left Hand F Key-
This is an alternate F key, allowing the player to go back and forth between F and Eb, D, Db, or low C without getting the E in between.
Low Bb Key-
Allows the oboe to play the Bb below the treble clef staff.
Low Bb Vent/Resonance Key-
An extra pad on the bell of the oboe which allows the low Bb to speak with better tone and intonation.
F# Key Tab-
A small, uplifted tab on the bottom of the F# key (first finger on the right hand). Some manufacturers have positioned the tone hole for the F# higher on the instrument to improve intonation, so they added the key tab so the player wouldn't have to stretch the first finger of the right hand to reach the key.
Philadelphia D Key-
So-called because it was invented in Philadelphia. It's primary function is to improve the response of the high D. The key closes the ring isde the key that covers the E tone hole. Many thanks to Dr. Edwin Lacy for this definition!
Thumbplate (open-hole) system-
The largest indicator of this type of oboe is one that has open holes, like a clarinet. This type of oboe is used mostly in England, but for the most part it is not used in the US. You should be aware that it uses slightly different fingerings than the conservatory oboe, so unless you want to confuse your player, don't get this kind.
Third Octave Key-
Most oboes have two octave keys -- the thumb octave key and the side octave key. Some of the more advanced oboes now come with a third octave key which sits above and on top of the thumb octave key. This octave key is supposed to make the extrememly high notes (F above the staff and higher) speak more easily and more in tune. Some oboists use it, some don't. There is an adjustment screw on it that allows you to disable it.
Metal Lined Tenon Sockets-
This means that the opening at the end of the joint that the cork from the other joint fits into is lined with metal. This protects against cracks and helps add strength to the joint.
Split D Ring-
The "D" key (third finger of the right hand) is actually two separate keys - one on the inside which is surrounded by the other. When the player plays an Eb-to-E trill, the inside part of the key stays down to stabilize intonation.

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