Are there opera parts for Horn that have transpositions lower than Bflat Basso? A Basso, A flat Basso and so on?

  • It is not really clear, which octave you talk of. Typically octaves are referred by numbers, but even these are different in different countries....
    – guidot
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 8:19
  • Have you tried looking at scores in imslp.org? Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 12:54
  • 2
    @CarlWitthoft the problem with "looking at scores" is that composers often didn't bother to write down what seemed obvious to themselves and their contemporaries, and later editors and publishers sometimes guessed wrong! The music itself can rule out playing some parts on basso instruments (i.e the bigger basso instrument simply isn't agile enough to play the notes at the right tempo) but there are certainly disputed claims about whether basso or alto was intended for the relatively common Bb horns.
    – user19146
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 0:00

1 Answer 1


Kunitz (1961) lists 16 versions that were in use between 1800 and 1850, from C-alto (unison) through A-basso (minor tenth below notation) and gives examples for their use. So the answer seems to be "only the A-basso one".

  • This hornmatters.com/PDF/… claims Ab basso was "common" in operatic scores. Possibly Kunitz's 1850 was a bit too early as a cut-off date?
    – user19146
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 23:49

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