English horn (Cor Anglais) vs Oboe: Difference & Similarities

I was not always a woodwind player but I was thinking the difference & similarities between English Horn (Cor Anglais) and Oboe. Sadly, all I could think of was that they are both in the woodwind family, can found in the orchestra and are all played using reeds. Well, I thought they were lame answers too! And so I got down to business researching.

English horn vs Oboe – Differences between

The main differences between our English horn (‘Cor Anglais’ – French) vs Oboe is that:

  • The English horn is lower pitched the Oboe;
  • The English horn is slightly larger – 50% longer – (thanks to being lower pitched) with its egg-shaped bell compared to the Oboe Reed.
  • The English horn has a ‘bent horn’ (in French known as ‘Cor Anglé’) near its top
  • English horn has a different reed from the Oboe and it’s attached to the crook (bocal). ,
  • The English horn is in the F key while the Oboe is in the C key.
  • English horn sounds lower and darker when compared to the oboe’s bright sound.

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