Ted, put the page back up!
Thank you for the interest! Well, I would like to, but the problem is that I received a message asking to add a legal notice with my address to the site (which I actually am legally obliged to provide), making both my identity and, well, my address public to everyone including this community. I don't really have an intention of doing that though...
I might expand this thread, but I'm rather busy atm, so ewww....
I'm quite curious to know the reason why the "hautoboisten" is a higher rank than the other musicians. Are you considered to be of higher importance when you play a specific instrument? Hautbois means oboe in French. That's what raised my eyebrow.
That's an interesting question!
The rank "Hautboist" dates back to the 17th century when oboes were considered a main instrument of the military orchestra - one of the oboe-players used to lead the orchestra when practicing and set the tone, similiar to the civilian position of the first violin. However, in the late 18th and 19th century armymusicians in general used to be called "Hoboist" or "Hautboist" until the First World War in Germany. The purpose of the name was to distinguish between actual musicians and the usual tambours giving drum- or hornsignals:
The Hautboists made up the actual band, led by a Kapell- or Musikmeister.
The "Signalisten" on the other hand - drummers, trumpeters, hornists (fifers had been abolished before the Napoleonic Wars) - were not considered to be equal to Hautboists as their main purpose was rather simple signalling, while the Hautboists played the actual music. That's why Hautboists were higher in rank and pay.