Each of the woodwind instruments in the orchestra has a variant form. The Flute has a smaller relative, the piccolo, and this plays some of the highest notes in the orchestra. The word Piccolo simply means Little, or Little Flute. The bassoon has a larger version that plays some of the lowest notes in the orchestra, the contra bassoon, or just Contra.
Likewise the clarinet has the Bass Clarinet. But the oboe has a variant form that has a name so misleading as to cause many people to think that it does not really exist. The instrument is the Cor Anglais, which of course means English Horn. It is not a horn, it is a larger oboe, and it was invented by the French in the mid-eighteenth century. Note the bulbous form at the lower end of the instrument. This helps to make the very special sound that is considered to be amongst the loveliest of all wind instruments. Like both the oboe and bassoon, the sound is generated by blowing through two reeds that are tightly bound together and opposite each other, the double-reed. Most people learn to play the oboe before they study the cor anglais.
Everybody knows the sound of the cor anglais, but few people know what it is called or what it looks like. It tends to play very long, romantic melodies, such as in the slow movement of Dvorak's New World Symphony, or in Rodrigo's famous Concierto de Aranjuez for solo guitar and orchestra. In this piece the solo guitar plays slow, spread chords that accompany the famous cor anglais melody.
Som do Instrumento