Wikipedia states:

French Horns tend to always carry the rhythmic backup of a march. For example, in cut-time marches, they are typically assigned upbeats (the + of 1 and 2) to provide the "pah" for the stylistic "oom-pah" sound. In 6/8 marches, French horns play on beat 1, the 'li' of 1, beat 2, and the 'li' of 2 (1-la-li 2-la-li). In other words, the measure would be one eighth note, then an eighth rest, then two eighth notes, an eighth rest, then a final eighth note.

However, what beats would the horn normally play on in a 2/4 march, the other major type? Is it the second?


2/4 is isomorphic to cut time, and as the article excerpt states, they idiomatic french horn rhythm would occur on both of the upbeats in the measure.

In other words, the second and fourth eighth notes of a 2/4 bar.

  • In other words: off-beat
    – nachti
    Jun 29 '16 at 8:03
  • But it is not impossible to play the first and third eighth notes of a 2/4 bar once in a while.
    – Karlo
    May 18 '17 at 9:06

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