What instrument plays intro theme of The Swan Lake, Op. 20? I can't tell if it's a flute or violin.


The very first sound you will hear is a violin but the melody of the song is an oboe. This was not readily apparent until a measure or two so dont feel bad and bravo to you for wanting to learn.


Neither. Here's the page. You could have found it yourself at IMSLP.

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  • I can't read this to find my answer
    – amphibient
    Sep 9 '16 at 17:40
  • is it en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeolian_harp ?
    – amphibient
    Sep 9 '16 at 17:41
  • The melody starts in Bar 2, on the Oboe stave. (Translation of "Oboi"). Maybe you're looking at the Harp ("Arpa") stave. OK, so you don't read much music. But you can recognise that the tune in "Swan Lake" isn't going to look like a load of little notes continually sweeping up and down. Sep 9 '16 at 18:21
  • It might be good to provide a link to the score, but I give you props (and my one upvote), for an authoritative and clear answer. I assume you didn't say "oboi" at first because you were seeking a Teachable Moment, and that's not all bad, either.... Sep 9 '16 at 22:17
  • 1
    @Kevin_Kinsey: Note, that oboi is (foreign language) plural, and two oboes are standard orchestra setting. If looking at the score you see smaller printed rests corresponding to oboe 2, so oboe 1 is in charge. (1 plays typically higher than 2 and has most of the solos, as with all other woodwinds)
    – guidot
    Nov 11 '16 at 15:33

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