QUOTE(barry-clari @ Apr 20 2010, 08:16 PM)
Aw, no reply for five days.
I'll have a go for clarinet. Trouble is, the clarinet had its major revolution in the mid 1800s,
I had already thought much the same about the oboe. The current keywork was developed mainly by the Triebert family in the 1800s and not a lot has happened in the 20th century with the exception of "covered" rather than "open" tone holes which these days is the norm. Some tiny changes have appeared on some oboes - 3rd octave key (or a fully automatic octave system with only 1 octave key), left hand C#, bottom A - but these are by no means universal.
There is a "Viennese" oboe which retains keywork much like the older "classical" oboe (so again nothing has been done to it in the 20th century) but this is a very localised instrument and might actually be losing ground to the "French" oboe even in the Vienna Phil.
There were some experiments in the early 20th century with alternative keywork such as Boehm or sax fingering but these didn't catch on.
Note that contemporary music specialist, Christopher Redgate, http://www.christopherredgate.co.uk/index.php
is currently doing some work in conjunction with Howarths on developments to the oboe to suit some of the demands of 21st century music.
Other than that, the bore and wall thickness of some oboes has been changed to give a bigger, richer sound and there has been some experimentation with materials such as Greenline (a wood/resin mix used by Buffet) and a clear "Altuglass" oboe by Marigaux.
If you want to find out more, you could try to get hold of these from your library:
"The Oboe and the Bassoon" - Gunther Joppig
"The Oboe" - Philip Bate
"The Oboe" - Geoffrey Burgess and Bruce Haynes