Jean Hotteterre and Michel Danican Philidor invented the oboe by modifying the double-reeded shawm in the 17th century. The oboe originated in France, becoming established through its use at the court of Louis XIV. Variations in design developed in different countries during the 1800s and persist to this day.
French oboes have a narrow bore, while German oboes have a wider bore. The oboe is the smallest of the double-reeded instruments in the orchestra. Since the oboe's sound varies little with temperature differences, it plays the note to which other instruments tune. It is also often featured for solo performances.