Saturday, 11 December 2010

A flute by any other name

The other day a young student told me she was going to write the word 'floboe' on her flute case. My puzzled expression elicited an explanation. "There aren't any oboes in the junior orchestra," she told me, "so some of the flutes play the oboe parts. So we call ourselves floboe players."

This put me in mind of a some-time pit band colleague (shows, not collieries) who is currently playing the clarinet parts of Beauty and the Beast on an alto flute. I wonder if she thinks of herself as a flarinettist?

I am reliably informed the 'flarinet' sounds beautiful and I have no reason to believe the floboe sounds any less so.