I came across some interesting notation in a piece I'm playing earlier this week, and I'm really not quite sure what the composer intended for me to do.

I play French Horn, and here's the notation (2 before I):

Shake and Growl

(Sorry for the poor quality of the image). The best I can think of for this is a vibrato and a flutter, but that's just a guess. The "growl" note also has a Z over it, which is new to me as well.

Can anyone translate this for French Horn usage?

  • 5
    Bring a wolf to the first rehearsal, just in case. Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 17:52

1 Answer 1


These are jazz articulations, and as a french horn player you'll really just have to do your best imitation of what a trumpet player would do. You might want to ask a trumpet player in your ensemble for some advice and demonstration.

What I'd suggest for the shake is a VERY rapid lip slur from the written note to about a fifth above. It's written forte, and is not supposed to be pretty, but you do need to keep it under control. Practicing on mouthpiece only might be a good starting point if you're having trouble. For the growl, your best bet would probably be a flutter-tongue.

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    Interesting - I wasn't expecting it to be jazz articulations, but that does make sense. I'll ask around in trumpet-land for some demonstrations. Thanks for the advice!
    – Siyual
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 18:26

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