Why are double reed instruments so unpopular in your opinion? Here is a list of the double reed instruments I mean;
And the answers are:
I think that double reed instruments have a sound that is very deep, and not very pleasant. Also, double reed instruments are harder to master. Most people would typically prefer an easier, nicer-sounding instrument that sounds good on its own.
As the previous post mentioned, double reeds–oboes, bassoons, and English horns–are difficult to play and have an unusually “reedy,” almost squeaky tone. Additionally, double reeds are not used in much popular music today aside from orchestral works–they have a sound more suggestive of centuries-old music–so most young musicians shy away from them. It takes someone with an unusually independent nature to tackle these horns when the more popular single reed instruments (clarinets and, particularly, saxophones) are more accessible and easier to play. I play clarinets and saxophones (and recorders), and I took oboe lessons for a summer. It was a much harder switch than between other single reeds, and I was never happy with the sound it (I) produced. However, I have always wanted to learn the Cor Anglais (English horn) since I love the lower range it produces in comparison to the higher pitched oboe.
One possible reason for their perceived unpopularity is because the are rarely the stars of a performance or performed in solos, rather they are backup or supporting style instruments. American culture today emphasizes the power of the star and the individual. Instruments like the saxaphone sound “cool” when played by themselves and have a certain celebrity following, the trumpet is often a featured soloist, and percussionists could go on to star in a rock band. The simple fact is that in American culture, not just music, people don’t want to play a supporting role.
My husband was a football coach, and he was always frustrated that half the team wanted to be the quarterback or the running back, but never on the offensive line. The kids wanted the “star” positions, even if their skill set wasn’t suited for the position.
Now you know.