Consider the oboe

Benjamin P. Taylor
1 min readApr 26, 2021


What’s your favourite example to illustrate radically different ‘worlds’?

Consider the #oboe.

It’s a weird instrument; one of the most ancient.

To play it requires immense skill, and the patience to spend hours crafting the reeds necessary to make any sound at all.

Early pictorial examples of a double-reed instrument resembling the oboe have been found in Sumeria dating back to 2800 BC, and there are a slew of jokes about oboists to be found on the internet.

It’s one of the hardest instruments to get a tone, and used to tune the rest of the audience.

But the oboe isn’t alone in being idiosyncratic.

An old joke talks about #relationships between different orchestra roles:

>> The second violist drove home to find a police cordon. “I’m so sorry,” the officer said, “but the conductor came to your house, stole your wife, killed your dog, and burned down the house.”

The astonished violist responded, “The MAESTRO? Came to MY house?”

In life, and in organisations, different #roles aren’t simply interchangeable job descriptions.

They are different #worlds, places where we’re under different pressures, we have different practices. The world of the oboist is different from the world of the trombonist.

What’s your example of different #sensemaking worlds?