The French horn is the second highest sounding member of the brass family and produces a full and mellow tone. It has a more mellow and fuller sound than the trumpet and produces a fuller and richer sound than the other members of the brass family, the clavichord, the euphonium and the tuba. Being a woodwind instrument, it is quite light weight and very compact. French horns haveF holes, like the English horn,however they are smaller in size. A musician blowing into the mouthpiece must brush the inside of the mouthpiece to create a full and rich sound. A beginner will spend many hours learning the basics of technique and care of the instrument before actually learning to play.
French horn players must practice almost daily, even when they are only a beginner, in order to be able to master the specific technical skills and work on the artistic side of their music. Most players must also have some kind of lessons to be able to learn to read music or to coordinator their breathing. It is quite different, however, from the saxophone or the trumpet. French horn players must learn to actually compose their own music! Here are some interesting facts about the French horn:
1. The sound of the French horn is mainly produced by the blowing of air through the instrument.2. The fingering for the valves of the French horn is less developed than those of the other members of the brass family.3. It originally took a lot of time for composers to be able to make the technique of the French horn work, because the instrument was not developed to serve this kind of purpose.4. Only later in the nineteenth century, after composers began to take notice of this particular instrument, did they start to be able to give it a wider range of interpretations.
If you are interested in the history of the French horn, you must read “The History of the French horn from the Sixteenth Century to the Eighteenth Century” by M.F.A.izens. He states that the first use of the term “french horn” in written notation was in a report sent to the French king by cadet de chambre Poisson in 1669.
A composer named Nicolas Tavernt wrote a greatly popular song in 1769 called “ardsienne” which contained the following passage:
“Oh, Austria, if you were only to gaze me in the eye, I am determined to love you undivided.”
This passage is usually quoted as proof that the French horn was already being referred to as the “French horn” before the Sixteenth century. However, as previously mentioned, it was not called a faine until the Eighteenth century.
So, where did the French get the idea to come up with this particular brass instrument? Well, it’s quite a long story, but essentially, it is a question of inventing the mechanics to enable a transducer to set in motion a permanent magnet, which is movable and fixed. A permanent magnet can sustain a small electrical current in spite of the obstacle of the tremendous mass of steel so carefully fixed to the bore of the French horn. Actually, the problem of the impossibility of working the enormous horn properly no doubt existed long before the French inventors began their frenzied brainstorming session, and so they simply asked the question, “How can we solve this problem?” and went from there.
And this is the general theory, at least, that gave us the French horn. The irresistible notion of somehow managing to fly one of these babies from every inch of the music stage and demand that they play for unlimited periods, inspired the French makers to try.
Boltzmann, creators of the dispelable Potter Fair projectors, was one of the first to discover theMpema methodfor creating solid unbiased light-based projection, and he patent’d it in 1877. Grovlez, another genius with mathematics and anticipate for radar and television, also discovered the same thing and patented it in 1935. Then Thorndike and Kruger began their exploration of the physics of sound.
From these two great scientists, emerged a whole gamut of technological imagination and insight. Yet none of these scientists created anything that ever reached the popularity of a saxophone.
The first saxophone player ever was Adolphe Sax, who was the contemporary of Robert Spano, the famous clarinetist of the Big Band era. He took to the saxophone in 1858, working for a short while in Leipzig and then moving on to Paris, where he played occasional concerts. He was the first known saxophonist to play complicated solos, although he would never achieve the status of “classical saxophonist.” In 1962, Sax won a Rimini Cassieve, an instrument made especially to honor him.