More of a practical question here.

I've had clicky keys (on the French horn) for a while now and I plan to get them fixed soon. But does anyone know a temporary fix to the problem? I can't seem to find the root of the noise, and I've tried almost everything. From oiling to re-screwing bolts (though not too intensely because I didn't want to damage the horn further) but to no avail. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Edit: It makes a sound when the 1st key is both pressed and released.

1 Answer 1


A rotary valve may have a rotating cam and one or two stationary posts. These ensure that the valve body stops rotating in the correct position at both extremes of its range of motion. The posts are often rubber or cork stops, which can become compressed and hardened with time. The click you're hearing is most likely the sound of the cam striking the post.

Here's one for sale, noting "with stop arm": https://shop.voigt-brass.de/en/COMPONENTS/ROTARY-VALVES-RVS/HORN-DOUBLE-HORN/French-Horn-single-valve-yellow-brass.html

If there are no posts, there will be a similar mechanism on the key to limit its range of motion, thereby limiting the motion of the valve.

A thin layer of rubber or something similar should absorb the blow and stop the sound, but you'll need to make sure that it's thin enough not to prevent the valve from rotating fully into the correct position.

  • 2
    You didn't say whether you have cord or rod linkages. Rod linkages can clank. If you stop the rotor turning with your fingers then press the key, you may be able to pinpoint where the linkage is loose. Mar 29, 2022 at 13:07

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