The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0043 Tuesday, 11 January 2005
Date: Friday, 24 Dec 2004 10:58:58 +0100
[Editor's Note: This request arrived while I was taking a break. Anyone
who would care to respond should do so directly to Dr. Elghozi at
Dear Pr. Cook,
You are expert in Shakespeare and therefore you might help me for an
etymology question. I am looking for the origin of the word hautbois
(oboe). Most people (nearly all!) defend the idea that it derives from
haut (high register) and bois (flute) but I heard it might derive from
hault boys. The hault boys were playing a high register flute I suppose.
Actually my browser found a text from Shakespeare that mentions 'hault
boys out of tune who were playing music'! Am I right? Am I wrong? You
should know the proper answer. That would help me and satisfy my
curiosity whatever it is.
I thank you in advance for your help. I am professor of medicine.
Nothing to do with Shakespeare I confess but interested in music. I play
tuba and I love oboe.
Best wishes for 2005.
Pr. Jean-Luc ELGHOZI
Pharmacologie Clinique / Nephrologie
149 rue de Sevres
Tel : 01.44.49.49.20
Fax : 01.44.07.90.40
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