The oboe ( /ˈoʊboʊ/) is a soprano-ranged, double reed musical instrument of the woodwind family made from a wooden tube roughly 60 cm long, with metal keys, a conical bore and flared bell. Sound is produced by blowing into the reed and vibrating a column of air. The distinctive oboe tone is versatile, and has been described as "bright".
In English, prior to 1770, the instrument was called the hautbois (French compound word made of haut and bois ), hoboy or French hoboy. The spelling "oboe" was adopted into English c. 1770 from the Italian oboè, a transliteration in that language's orthography of the 17th-century pronunciation of the French name. A musician who plays the oboe is called an oboist.