Oboe 050

yob241-1-yamahaAfter 50 days as a Student of the Oboe, it’s time for a Report.

Allen’s Law – as it will be known in the future, once my theory gains a broad following – says that:

The energy applied to one endeavour
will enhance all of one’s endeavours.

Applied to Oboe playing, for example, Allen’s Law predicts that the more I practice the Oboe, the cleaner my dishes will be, the better my lawn will be cut, the clearer my diction in Spanish, etcetera, etcetera.

Allen’s Corollary – which naturally awaits the much anticipated recognition of Allen’s Law before it can in turn be acclaimed – says that:

The harder the endeavour,
the greater the peripheral gain.

Now, let’s also apply the Corollary to the practical example of Oboe playing. Mastery of the Oboe is said by some to be the supreme human achievement, and certainly the most demanding, which directly explains why the rest of my life is going so well.

Allen’s Hypothesis – which is somewhat theoretical and further from universal acclamation than either Allen’s Law or Allen’s Corollary – says that:

The most effective way to tackle any problem
is to devote your entire attention to something else.

So let’s have one last practical application, and consider how the Hypothesis might apply to Oboe playing. I am making the greatest strides in learning the Oboe by throwing myself wholly into weaving a full scale reproduction of the Bayeux Tapestry.

                Tapisserie de Bayeux

The bottom line: I have, in fact, got my fingers around two octaves in C major, One and three quarters in D major, and mastered the first 22 notes of Satie’s Gymnopēdie No. 1.  Well, perhaps not quite mastered.


That wasn’t the bottom line after all, but this is:
Allen’s Law might not be as silly as you think.




(The Bayeux Tapestry is an embroidered cloth nearly 70 metres (230 ft) long and 50 centimetres (20 in) tall, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England, culminating in the Battle of Hastings in 1066.  More than 9 centuries old, if you’ve never heard of it you really should click here.)


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