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28 votes

What am I missing about learning French horn?

To paraphrase the familiar Duke Ellington quote, if you learn from them, they're good teachers for you; if you don't, they're the other kind. No, a sample size of two isn't too big for it simply to be ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
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19 votes

English Horn Part played by french horn

Try it and see! Every time you "import" music from one instrument into another, you face a few questions: Is it even possible on the new instrument? Transcribing from a woodwind to piano ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
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16 votes

Why is french horn not written a 5th above the rest of the orchestra when it is supposed to be?

Traditionally horns have always been written with no key signature. When horns were introduced into the orchestra they had no valves, and had a very limited set of notes. To change key extra tubing, ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 21.4k
13 votes

What am I missing about learning French horn?

While these teachers appear to be missing the fact that mechanical aspects (like embouchure) matter, I can't help but wonder whether you are also having difficulty conveying exactly what you want to ...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
11 votes

Horn & Trumpet and Key Signatures

I play trumpet and horn, and have played both in orchestras for many years. Both instruments used to not be fully chromatic (mainly playing their overtones) and so they'd be crooked into the key of ...
MattPutnam's user avatar
  • 22.4k
9 votes
Accepted

How are the 4 French Horn parts in an orchestral piece paired/arranged range-wise?

Conventionally, 1 and 3 take higher parts and 2 and 4 take lower parts. In many scores, horns 1&3 are given one staff and then horns 2&4 are given the next staff. I prefer that method, but you ...
Pat Muchmore's user avatar
  • 18.3k
8 votes

Horn & Trumpet and Key Signatures

Like Dekkadeci, I'll note that the main body of the passage in question does not mention trumpets. Why is it that key-signatures are 'irrelevant' to horn? The tradition arose because natural horns ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 22.9k
8 votes

Why is french horn not written a 5th above the rest of the orchestra when it is supposed to be?

Also, you'd expect the trumpets to be in 4 sharps. But there's a convention that orchestral horns and trumpets are written transposed, but in open key with accidentals. The reason for this is ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.4k
7 votes

What am I missing about learning French horn?

You‘ve got some very good answers here. I don‘t know whether I understand really what analysis paralysis means. Do they want to say that you are thinking too much? Let it flow? Playing an brass ...
Albrecht Hügli's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

What am I missing about learning French horn?

I am familiar with this problem. Not so much from brass playing, where I've had little professional instruction (though I surely could do with it!), but from dancing, where I've had the experience of ...
psmears's user avatar
  • 296
6 votes
Accepted

French horn - Getting higher register

Lip slurs, scales and arpeggios up to the required range (and a little above it). Also concoct some exercises with less predictable notes. I made a breakthrough into my trombone's upper range (many ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.4k
6 votes

Horn transposing

Unless you're purposely writing in an antique style, for players who you know possess antique instruments, write for Horn in F. The instrument is fully chromatic. The player will very likely switch ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.4k
5 votes
Accepted

French Horn Handedness

It's to do with the origin of the instrument. In baroque times the horn had no valves. The way the player could alter pitch was with the lips and also with the right hand, which was pushed inside ...
Jomiddnz's user avatar
  • 5,057
5 votes

Horn & Trumpet and Key Signatures

It's quite possible that those concert horn players are following an earlier music tradition where French horn parts were consistently not notated with key signatures, regardless of the home key of ...
Dekkadeci's user avatar
  • 14.2k
5 votes
Accepted

what is the difference between a french horn in F and a french horn in E flat (or other keys)?

This is a vestige of the history of the horn. Before the Industrial Revolution, the only horns that were available were natural horns. Natural horns can't play a full chromatic series; they sound ...
Michael Seifert's user avatar
5 votes

What am I missing about learning French horn?

...not providing any instructions beyond "wiggle and blow"... Even a quick search of "french horn embouchure" brings up many results like this one. So, of course, there is more to ...
Michael Curtis's user avatar
4 votes

How are the 4 French Horn parts in an orchestral piece paired/arranged range-wise?

1 high, 2 low - and you can add 3/4 and 5/6, even 7/8 (e.g. Mahler), but always high/low, always in pairs. Solos often go to 1, but can also be covered by 3/5/7 etc. It might help to think of each ...
Alexis Kasperavičius's user avatar
3 votes

What am I missing about learning French horn?

Perhaps your embouchure is basically OK. Your lips and jaw are positioned well, you aren't trying to go higher by pressing. But you need to use more air - possibly more than you're used to using ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.4k
3 votes
Accepted

Stopped notes in Beethoven's 2d

There are numerous F's in the score. On a natural horn these notes can be played open but very out of tune, or played stopped and in tune. Presumably Zinman wanted the horns emulating natural horns on ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 21.4k
3 votes

How to play clef changes in Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity? (F Horn)

The transposing nature of the horn doesn't change depending on the clef. If a notated C sounds as an F, it always sounds as an F (until the next instruction like "muta in D"). Unfortunately, notation ...
Kilian Foth's user avatar
  • 7,573
3 votes

How can I help my beginner horn players access the mid and high range?

Start with some simple slurs, from written C to E and back, and then from C to G and back. The longterm goal is to explore the entire harmonic series of the horn. Have them observe their mouth shape ...
Minu's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes

Horn & Trumpet and Key Signatures

Yes, historically valveless horns and trumpets were built (or adapted with interchangeable slides) in different keys, but always written 'in C'. A modern orchestral horn player will still get given ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.4k
2 votes

How Fast Can French Horn Play?

How long a run and how good a player? A short run of 16ths at 152 bpm is no problem A longer run would be OK for a good amateur or above. He'll have played worse in etudes. This example isn't as ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.4k
2 votes
Accepted

What are the lowest Horn transpositions?

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 "...
Kilian Foth's user avatar
  • 7,573
2 votes

Articulations and Ornaments

Aric's answer is mostly correct, except that l.v. stands for laissez vibrer (French), strictly speaking. In this context, it simply means to allow the strings to ring for the duration of the glissando ...
Bernard Woolley's user avatar
2 votes

Articulations and Ornaments

'Stopping' on french horn is when you put your hand in the bell. This adjusts the pitch of the note and also has a muting effect. I am not an expert on this, however i found a good article on ...
Aric's user avatar
  • 820
2 votes
Accepted

Trying to figure out what sax, trumpet & french horn scales would be used to jam with a blues backing track in key of xx?

The blues is a largely guitar-based style, and there are characteristic blues things involving open strings that work best in E and A major (there ARE minor key blues, but I suggest you start off with ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.4k
2 votes

French horn - clicky/noisy keys

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 ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 22.9k
2 votes

What am I missing about learning French horn?

This was a while ago, but I'd like to chime in as someone who is a horn instructor myself. The reason you are not getting instructions about what to do with your embouchure is that your embouchure is ...
Sally Greenfield's user avatar
2 votes

How can I help my beginner horn players access the mid and high range?

Try this experiment - with the mouthpiece alone on your lips, make sure there a small horizontal slot between your lips and then blow steadily. Make sure your lips don't buzz. Next, do exactly the ...
Brian THOMAS's user avatar
  • 11.6k

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