Talk:French horn

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Length of tubing[edit]

The third paragraph states that the horn has "26 feet of tubing, the longest of any instrument". I think this estimate takes into account, not only valve slides, but also assumes that both the F and Bb sides are completely independant, when, in fact, they share a good deal of tubing (leadpipe, bell and last branch). The open F side is 12 feet, and the open Bb is 9 feet. I think this should be made clearer, the way it's stated gives the impression that the horn is longer than a BBb tuba (18 feet).

Yes, I'm having the same problem with this claim. I think it should be more like 20-21, with the BBb tuba being about 22.5 if you throw in the standard 3 valves, and even longer with the 4th/5th valves common in professional tubas. --Rschmertz 22:37, September 2006 (UTC)
I've found nowhere on the Internet supporting the 26 ft claim -- except the numerous copies of this Wikipedia article that are out there -- but I did find a site with a figure right around what I was guessing (I actually did some math to come up with 21 ft.) We need a horn professional to get a damn tape measure and just measure the amound of tubing he/she has. Not sure if the double horns come in two versions -- one where the thumb valve switches between two body loops as well as selecting which valve slides come into play, and the other that only selects the use/non-use of a single body loop (as well as selecting blah blah blah). If so, I'd guess something like the former would be used by most professionals, and we'd need to get the lentgh for that. --Rschmertz 05:02, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Here's a better link: [1]. I'll update the page to show 12'-13' of main bugle tubing for the F horn. (talk) 20:48, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Sorry to be so late to the party but the link to goes to a page which is merely an old clone of this article, and is clearly marked "WARNING: DO NOT CITE". Erm. In red. I have removed it: we can't use our own article as a source for itself, or the universe will explode. I was also very very confused by the usage "main bugle" and I have removed it for now. If anyone knows that it is a specialist Term Of Art used by horn experts then please let's discuss it, but otherwise I didn't think it seemed appropriate. Best wishes to all DBaK (talk) 12:18, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
I've amended the lengths as follows: F horn open is 12ft as mentioned above and elsewhere. With three valves down drops this by a tritone, so multiply that by the square root of 2 to get about 17ft tops. Tayste (edits) 08:46, 14 April 2015 (UTC)


"The mellophone is, in appearance, very different from any of the above types of horn, but it is nevertheless used in place of the horn in marching bands."

While many marching bands substitute the mellophone for the French Horn (unecessary in my opinion as I once marched with a bell-front French horn in a drum corps) it is a very different instrument. The tubing is more like a trumpet than a horn in that it's ratio of conical tubing to cylindical tubing (2:3) is nearer to the trumpet than the horn and the tuba (3:2). (Argh. I can't find an on-line reference for this. Will update with text reference later) The mouthpiece is also that of a trumpet as well; the interior of the mouthpiece is cup shaped rather than more cone-shaped in the case of Horns.

Also of note is that the mellophone is pitched an octave higher than the horn (F alto). Therefore, for any given note, the partials are twice as far appart, making it much easier to play. This also causes problems with unplayable notes in the low range. I've occasionally run into marching band arrangements that assume the range of a horn and request notes that fall in the gaps of a mellophone's range. Btwied 14:29, 21 March 2007 (UTC)


"Only in the United States, Canada, and the U.K. is the horn known as the "french" horn." See the Horn Players' FAQ: [1]

Zamiel, Feb. 9, 2004 (sorry. My wikki-fu isn't such that I can make an e-mail link yet)

The Mellophone is not truly a derivative of the marching horn. The first mellophones appear long before the first marching horns. They are pitched in E-flat and are shaped similar to the horn with the bell facing to the side. It is therefore very likely that the Mellophone evolved from the E-flat alto horn which is played with a trumpet mouthpiece and is and was commonplace in brass bands as a substitute for the french horn. This would explain the use of the trumpet mouth piece more elegantly than the reasons state in the article, and would explain the early Conn and Pan American mellophone's shape. They were designed to allow Alto Horn players to sound more like true French horn players on the marching field, thus boosting the mid voice of the Band without the difficult transition to playing horn and would allow the player to continue playing their original instrument, be it trumpet or alto horn, with minimal disruption.

September 6, 2007. Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:55, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

The article claims as follows:

"Sometimes, a derivative of the F alto horn, commonly used in brass bands and marching bands, called a mellophone is used. It is shaped like a trumpet, with piston valves played with the right hand and a forward-pointing bell."

It is incorrect that the mellophone is "commonly used in brass bands". Brass bands only use tenor horns (generally called alto horns in the US) pitched in E-flat. Being saxhorns, these instruments bear no resemblance to mellophones apart from the piston valves. Thus, the reference to brass bands in this sentence ought to be stricken. Preceding unsigned comment added by Sirocco (talk contribs) 18:33, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

I'd forgotten the name "mellophone" (was confusing it with "euphonium") and the first place I looked was the "See also" for horns, where it wasn't included, forcing me to do quite a bit of rummaging; so I've put it in. (talk) 04:32, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

There already is an entire section on the mellophone with a link to the main mellophone article. It's also listed under the "related instruments" part of the main infobox. I don't think it belongs in the "See also" section because it's not strictly a horn-related article like the other ones there, and by putting one related instrument there it would open the floodgates to put all the other related instruments there as well. Woolwich (talk) 10:08, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Cor anglais[edit]

I removed the statement that the French call the French horn a cor anglais. I am almost certain that the instrument the French call the cor anglais is the same instrument the English call the cor anglais (ie, an instrument related to the oboe). As far as I can tell from scores, dictionaries, etc, the French just call the horn a cor. It's possible it was once called the cor anglais I suppose (it's often suggested that anglais is a corruption of the french for angled or bent), but it certainly doesn't seem to be in wide use any more - it would be too confusing. --Camembert

You're right. Well spotted. It's the "cor d'harmonie" in France, I think. To distinguish from "cor de chasse" -- Tarquin
You were completely correct Camembert. The Cor Anglais is the English Horn. Agnès

These are the first several sentences of the analogous article in the French version of wikipedia: "Le cor d'harmonie ou cor français est un instrument à vent de la famille des cuivres. Même s'il a un air de parenté avec le cor de chasse, le son de cet instrument est très différent. Il est tantôt majestueux et triomphant, tantôt doux et légèrement mélancolique. Le cor d'harmonie est présent dans les orchestres symphoniques et les orchestres d'harmonie ; il est par ailleurs souvent sollicité dans les musiques de films héroïques. L'embouchure du cor est de petite taille et de forme intérieure conique, différente de celles de la trompette et du trombone qui sont hémisphériques et plus larges." They suggest to me that the horn goes by three names in France: cor, cor d'harmonie, and cor français. Since the English call the English horn the cor anglais, however, I think the French should substitute for cor français the term French horn. TheScotch 08:40, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Name of instrument[edit]

What does this mean?

It is generally known in the rest of the world as simply the Horn

Rest of the world to what???? :) Nevilley 08:17 Mar 6, 2003 (UTC)

no response to this. I've removed it as it did not make sense. I am not well up enough on horn terminology to be sure what was meant and whether it would have been correct even if clearly expressed. Maybe someone can fix it, if it needs fixing? Nevilley 07:24 Mar 7, 2003 (UTC)

I think what was meant was the 'French Horn' as we call it isn't really a french horn. It's supposed to just be the Horn. Maybe what that statement was getting at is that most of the world actually calls the instrument by it's real name.

but the term "horn" can be used coloquially as a general name for a wind instrument. Snail Doom 20:19, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Interesting fact: the German word describing the instrument is just "horn." My first guess would be that the term "French horn" was originally created to distiguish it from the natural horn. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:55, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

I think if we say something is 'often informally' called something else, there's no need to add 'incorrectly'; in fact, that would be almost a contradiction. Rothorpe (talk) 23:26, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
The term "French horn" is technically incorrect since the instrument is not French in ethnicity; it developed in Germany. Being a musician and a horn player myself I can tell you that, amongst musicians, it is always called the horn and calling it a French horn immediately shows that you do not know much about music. America and Britain are also the only countries in which the term French horn is ever used. Saying that it is incorrect is not a contradiction - quite simply, most people are incorrect because they know very little about the instrument. --Nat682 (talk) 11:29, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
I appreciate your irritation, but language doesn't always follow logic and usage has little to do with knowledge. Perhaps you also object to 'cor anglais', 'English horn', for the instrument that looks like a longer oboe. I reckon the article explains clearly. Rothorpe (talk) 13:06, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Why don't we reword it like this:

"Descended from the natural horn, the instrument is often informally known as the French horn. However, this term is technically incorrect since the instrument has almost no French ethnicity; thus, the International Horn Society has strongly recommended since 1971 that the instrument be simply called the horn. French horn is still the most common term for this instrument in the United States."

This says that it is technically incorrect, which is true, but it does not condemn common usage of the term French horn. Also, I cannot find any sources that say that German horn and the French horn are two different instruments, so I removed that. The source given in the article is a dead link. --Nat682 (talk) 17:07, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

I'd like to add "and Canada" to the very end of the paragraph, if there are no objections... Purplezart (talk) 19:13, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Consider altering the paragraph to insert that the horn is also called "horn in F" (which by far most horns are). I don't know, but am suspicious, that the "F" was mistakenly thought to mean "French" and creating a folk etymology whereby the instrument became a "French" horn. But, again, my point is that the term "horn in F" should appear in the paragraph. A redirect from "Horn in F" to this article already exists. Rammer (talk) 00:23, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Image format problem[edit]

Is the PNG really a PNG? I wanted to edit out the page number, but can;t get anything to open it. Suggestions please??

If you use a Mac, try GraphicConverter. I'm on Linux, so I use the GIMP. I think it's available for Windows, too. Anyway, I took care of it for you. See also Image talk:French-horn.png -- Merphant
Yes, so I see, and thank you for that helpful intervention. Nevilley 09:27 Mar 6, 2003 (UTC)


The French horn is a lip-blown brass instrument ...

Aren't all brass instruments lip-blown? -- Merphant

yep, it's part of the definition. Nevilley 23:10 Mar 6, 2003 (UTC)

I play French Horn In my school and you buzz with your lips to make sound —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:33, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

To-do list[edit]

(Note: this is derived from the section "Removed To-do list" that was removed in March 2003. I've renamed it to To-do list as of, well, today. --Rschmertz 02:36, 23 October 2006 (UTC))

  • Common Ensembles
    • trio
    • quartet
  • Concerti
    • Classical
    • Romantic
    • Modern
  • The Orchestral literature
    • Richard Strauss
    • Sight Transposition

common ensembles: include quintets as well- brass quintets (2 trumpets, Horn, Trombone, Tuba) and woodwind quintets (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn)


Every horn player I know is trying to eliminate the usage of "French" from the name, why can't it be done here? A quick paragraph of explanation would suffice, I'd think. When my students call a set of bells a "xylophone" I correct them - people need guidance to learn something new. -- Lundmusic 02:39, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Ermm dunno, good question. I don't know enough about horn terminology to say anything much, but one issue that will come up is that common Wiki one of having things where they may easily be found - so as many people DO call it a french horn, it needs to be findable under that. Also "horn" is tricky for here as it has so many meanings. It would be interesting to hear from other brass players and especially horn players on this, but I feel that you are probably on the right track as long as it stays easy to find "french horn". Certainly some more clearly (strongly?) worded note on usage might well help - the link on this Talk page, at the top, to the horn players' FAQ has some good material for quoting! --Nevilley 08:03, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

"Horn" vs. "French horn"[edit]

I've moved this page from French horn to horn (instrument), since the "French" is increasingly deprecated. I'll be fixing the double redirects (and, at least to some extent, the single redirects) in the next couple of days. --bdesham 18:42, 1 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The way to fix a double redirect is to edit the redirect page itself--in this case, French Horn redirected to French horn (the old title), and changing it so it instead redirects to Horn (instrument) (the new title) makes all the links work again (I've done this now). Of course, that doesn't mean you shouldn't edit all those articles anyway if the term "French horn" really offends you, but it's not necessary if all you want is working links. --Camembert

I object to this change. The instument has been known as the French horn in English for practically ever, and whether or not some people would prefer otherwise, I think this page should remain under "French horn". Wikipedia isn't the proper format to help institute linquistic changes like this. --B. Phillips 02:39, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

This is not a linguistic matter, but is instead the recommended term to use from the IHS (for discussion see also [2]). Among horn players it is rarely referred to as "french". On all music parts that are placed in front of us we rarely see the words "french horn" but most often see just horn. Other musicians usually refer to is as just the horn. All this said, "french horn" is not a bad word, but it is inaccurate. It is still ok to hear it being called that and in fact listening to recordings of Philip Farkas talking he referred to it as french horn and horn. I agree that wikipedia is not a place for linguistic changes, but it is a place to reflect accurately what the most correct term in use is, which is just "horn" at this point in time. Horndude77 05:35, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

It should be no surprise that the International Horn Society refers to it as simply the "horn", it being international and needing to find a consensus amoung all the different names for it in different languages. Should we go about renaming all the entries for similarly named instruments, the English horn, for instance? It should also not be a surprise that almost everyone refers to the French horn as merely the "horn" -- when they are all within a musical context. Outside of a musical context, like the International Horn Society or Horn Player or what have you, further classification is needed for the lay reader. Shall we move the corresponding French page to "cor", "d'harmionne" not being neccessary as English speakers have no use for their superfluous adjectives? I don't know whether the "horn" movement is motivated by merely wanting to advertise a more specialized insider status or simple Francophobia, but I will not stand by as Wikipedia surrenders to either. --B. Phillips 03:21, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Settle down—Wikipedia isn't "surrendering" to anything! We're simply adopting the nomenclature used by the people who know the instrument the very best—the people who play it. --bdesham 04:19, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Indeed, this is my very concern! If you read carefully, I've stated in so many words that it is inappropriate to change the common, English language name of the "french horn" to simply "horn" if not only because most people, especially those who are strange to it and are looking at its Wikipedia article, know it as the "french horn". Taking a music community context like The International Horn Society as a benchmark is not acceptable, as Wikipedia is an extra-musical context. If we were to use your logic for everything, we should be changing the Krishna page to the My Sweet Lord page. --B. Phillips 04:53, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

This issue seems pretty dead now, but I'd still like to respond with an analogy, for what it's worth. Tsunamis have often been called tidal waves by laypersons, a less exotic and more accessible word. Yet the article is at tsunami, because tidal wave is patently incorrect, misleading and discouraged by oceanographers (as the article states). French horn is patently incorrect, misleading and discouraged by musicians. Wherein lies the difference? EldKatt (Talk) 14:30, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
And to be honest most lay people don't call it anything at all :-) Musos almost without exception use "horn", and music for horn is also styled "horn concerto" rather than "concerto for French horn". This article also covers the cor de chasse and Vienna horn, so I really see no problem with the move, given that a redirect is in place. - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] AfD? 14:45, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, of the persons who do call it something it's pretty fair to say that non-musicians call it the French horn and musicians formally call it the horn. I think it's also reasonable to say that the horn is formally the correct term, but I also think it would be appropriate for the first several sentences of this article to acknowledge that the instrument is widely referred to by lay persons (and informally by musicians) as the French horn more strongly than it now does. The way it stands now, a lay person may not even immediately realize what instrument is being discussed here. TheScotch 09:04, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Ok, yes all points are vaild, but I agree with TheScotch. At least some acknowledgement of the fact that it can and is (albeit incorrectly) called a French horn. Unfortunately, the public isn't going to change its perception of something instantaneously. -Hornandsoccer 14:55, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

I find the current state of the opening paragraph confusing and inaccurate. My best guess is that it's the result of a compromise on the name of the instrument, but it doesn't clearly establish the name. I'm bothered by the fact that "horn" and "French horn" are used interchangably throughout the article. I'm personally in the "horn" camp, but I think we should be consistent. I suggest that the article open with something along the lines of "The horn (commonly referred to as French horn) is a brass instrument..." and thereafter stick to "horn." Also I think the information on French and German names for the instrument is wrong. I am currently in Austria, and if I tell people "Ich spiele Waldhorn" ("I play hunting horn") they look at me funny. The German name for the instrument is "das Horn." Similarly, I've played a fair amount of French music for the horn, and it is always called "le cor;" I've never heard of "cor d'harmonie" before. I also wonder why the German and French names of the instrument are so important as to be mentioned in the first paragraph; I can only assume that this was an attempt to compromise on the naming controversy, but in my opinion it just sounds bad.

Sorry, I forgot to sign this post. It was I (btwied) two or three weeks ago. Btwied 11:58, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
I've just edited the opening paragraph in accord with my above concerns. People should let me know if they disagree.Btwied 08:53, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

♥I play the french horn, and I call it the french horn. Then again, I've only been playing a year, and I'm in 7th grade. I'm not really an expert on the instrument. It does make sence why people don't like the name, since the horn is not french. However, the word horn is also used quite a bit (at least by my band director) to refer to brass instruments, mostly the trumpet. It can be a little confusing, honestly. By the way, in most of my music, in the corner it says "F Horn" or "Horn in F". I'm guessing that's because the french horn is in the key of F, except when you play the double horn, and it's F and Bb Kate 22:01, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes, French horn does seem to be the name most young musicians give the instrument. As you age, you will probably cease to do so formally. The trumpet is a horn in a different, broader sense of the term, more or less in the way that a suling is a flute (not a great example, but the best I can think of right now off the top of my head--sorry). The "F horn" notation is to show that the part is not written in concert pitch. The convention is to leave up to the player whether to use the double horn or not, and thus the same transposition (in relation to concert pitch, that is) will always be employed. TheScotch 05:01, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Re: "I've just edited the opening paragraph in accord with my above concerns. People should let me know if they disagree.":

I realize you're trying to group your remarks together, but I would find it easier if all comments within a discussion page section were kept in chronological order.

Re: "Confusion often arises between hornists and non-musicians because of the different names for the instrument, but in the 1960s the International Horn Society declared the instrument's official name to be the 'horn.' ":

I think it's okay to reference the Society's declaration within the article, but I'd suppose the confusion to be on one side only. I'm tempted to remove the entire clause and just start with "In the 1960's..." It would sound a lot more authoritative if we had an actual year. TheScotch 08:19, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Uh, oh. From the International Horn Society's web site: "The International Horn Society (IHS) was formed in June 1970 at the Second International Horn Workshop in Tallahassee, Florida, USA." TheScotch 08:29, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Today at I found this: " 'The International Horn Society recommends that "horn" be recognized as the correct name for our instrument in the English language.' [From the Minutes of the First General Meeting, June 15, 1971, Tallahassee, Florida, USA.]" TheScotch 09:14, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Beyond the horn players themselves, most (but not all) professional (and many college/university) orchestras in the United States list this section under the title "horn" (no French) in printed program books. If we were to list everything in Wiki-land simply by what a majority of English-speaking people think, Elvis Presley would have no death date. Sometimes encyclopedias (even Wikipedia) are part of the process of making sense out of history, and not merely a reflection of what people think they know. QwertyUSA 17:15, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

There are so many different horns. cor de chasse, natural horn, vienna horn, horns in Bb, and f, then the baritone and tenor horn of brass band. french horn at least helps to distinguish standard rotary valved horn from all these others. this is a debate about english usage only: in German the french horn and natural family is called waldhorn to divide it clearly from background brass. at least one german manufacturers website uses the term french horn for the very same reason. it is understandable that french horn platers call their instrument the horn , but euphoniumists also call a euphonium a euph and trombonists refer to 'bones. these are not considered proper terms. either term can be considered appropriate, there is no need to call adding the french a vandalism.Benny the wayfarer (talk) 20:15, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Benny, the changes you're talking about are disruptive, if not strictly vandalism. This is a user who makes changes repeatedly and ignores requests to work out the differences on the talk pages. That's why that IP address has been blocked 5 times. I asked admin Jayron32 about this, and that was his conclusion. (See the discussion under "Unresponsive user" and "Dealing with disruptive edits.") If the user had come here to have a conversation about it and points like yours, we could have discussed it, but he/she chose to just keep making the changes and ignoring the warnings. If you have an idea of how to get this user's attention besides calling it vandalism and blocking him/her, please feel free to jump in. I've tried several times, with no response. WeisheitSuchen (talk) 23:04, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Re: " is understandable that french horn platers call their instrument the horn , but euphoniumists also call a euphonium a euph and trombonists refer to 'bones. these are not considered proper terms. either term can be considered appropriate, there is no need to call adding the french a vandalism.":

The difference between well-meaning bad editing and disruptive editing is aptly explained by WeisheitSuchen, but I disagree with the implication that "points like yours [the quoted argument directly above]" are helpful. This (the quoted argument directly above) is clearly specious reasoning, and it doesn't seem to be proffered in good faith. The intent seems, rather, to confuse and obfuscate. Euph and bones are quite obviously slang abbreviations in no logical way comparable to horn, which is a more formal (and the--English, yes--proper) designation for the instrument popularly known also as "the French horn". Considering that the article as it currently stands acknowledges the latter term, consigns it to its real-world place, and redirects from French horn, I don't see that "French horn" advocates have any ground for complaint. TheScotch (talk) 23:26, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

consider the cauliflowers. in the past only the biennial, spring-harvested varieties were considered to be true cauliflowers by knowledgeable gardeners and growers: the white things you harvest in the later summer and autumn are really heading brocolli by any decent standards. the misnomer alas has gained the upper hand, but who cares? however what about good academic sources that use the term, "french horn", interchangably with "horn"?are they merely "popular" (by contrast with.....)? what about worldwide manufacturers that use the term? what about other types of horn? what about a little give-and-take? personally i do not agree that the IHS are a sole authority for proper English usage. that will be a dictionary. Benny the wayfarer (talk) 01:16, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Good point, TheScotch. It's a false analogy to claim that nicknames like "euph" are equivalent to the correct terminology for horn. Benny, as others have pointed out here in the discussion, it's standard for orchestras to list the section as just horn. What about Verne Reyolds' book, The Horn Handbook or Janetzky & Brüchle's Horn? Every publication and recording of Mozart's Horn concertos I've ever seen lists them as just "horn," not French horn. Even if there is a version out there that uses French, it would still be the exception rather than common practice. The Library of Congress uses the category Horn (musical instrument) for MARC records, not French Horn. Benny, do you have any sources that are more authoritative than the Library of Congress on this matter? You've mentioned several theoretical sources, but haven't provided any specifics here. If you don't have any specific sources, then let's leave the consensus as is and use the correct terminology--just horn. WeisheitSuchen (talk) 02:09, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
My original links to searches didn't work, but here's a place where the codes for instrumentation in MARC records are given. Note that it just says Horn, not French Horn. If you search the Library of Congress online catalog for "horn (musical instrument)" as the subject, you'll see that this is a subject heading. If you open up the records and look at the tab for MARC tags, you'll see Horn (musical instrument) listed. WeisheitSuchen (talk) 02:34, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Re: "what about a little give-and-take? personally i do not agree that the IHS are a sole authority for proper English usage.":

What you "personally" "agree" with is irrelevant here. If you'll scroll upward you'll see there has already been oodles of "give-and-take" and that consensus--and compromise--had already been achieved. The compromise is that--as I've already explained--the article acknowledges the term French horn (and if you read above, you'll see that I fought for this on behalf of French horn), consigns it to its real-world place, and redirects from French horn. We shouldn't need to rehearse this endlessly. TheScotch (talk) 07:44, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Re: "Every publication and recording of Mozart's Horn concertos I've ever seen lists them as just "horn," not French horn.":
And, at the risk of overkill, I might add that I've never once seen the term French horn written in an orchestral score, and the instrument to which we are referring is generally considered an essential component of the orchestra, rarely omitted (except in pieces for string orchestra). If I were home I could pull down from my shelf and cite one by one scores from my own collection. Just now I happen to have with me a set of scores in one volume titled The Concerto, 1800-1900, A Norton Music Anthology, edited by Henry Lang and published in 1969 (before the IHS even existed) by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. In each of the eleven complete scores included the instruments in question are called Horns. TheScotch (talk) 06:41, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

It seems that frech horn sometimes refers to smaller bore instruments., as opposed to german horns with the largwer now standard bore size. Robert Donington "The instruments of Music" methuen 1962 is a source for this, also see [3] Benny the wayfarer (talk) 01:25, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

In the link, that's talking about a specific model of horn built in France. That's very different from saying that it's "proper" to call all horns French. Even in that description of the horn, it never actually uses the exact phrase "French horn"; it's described as a "French-type narrow-bore horn." This isn't a compelling argument for your claim that "French horn" is a "proper" term. Obviously, you are going to find some sources that use the phrase "French horn," especially older sources before there was a concerted movement to use the accurate term. Exceptions to the general consensus don't actually change the overall consensus though. Benny, I don't see how either your book from 1962 or an advertisement for a "French-type" horn is a more authoritative source than the Library of Congress, professional orchestras, music publishers, and other books referenced. I agree with TheScotch that the compromise was previously reached here, and nothing you've argued convinces me that we should put an incorrect term on articles like Wagner tuba and Euphonium. WeisheitSuchen (talk) 16:42, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

While I agree that the normal usage for the instrument is 'Horn' there is overwhelming evidence that the term 'French Horn' is not only valid, but still in widespread use.*Percy A. Scholes, The Oxford Companion to Music, First Edition, Oxford University Press : Horn Family 2.(c) French Horn with Valves This is the horn as our orchestras know it today
The BBC thinks they're called French horns, and so does its players:
The Philharmonia Orchestra says that they are also known as French horns:
Or if you prefer an American orchestra :,1,4,3 Chicago Symphony Orchestra
and the Oregon Symphony Orchestra : think they use French horns too.
The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music sells music for the French Horn online :
....and that's what's being taught in British schools: (Check both Cor anglais and French horn)
♦ Jongleur100 ♦ talk 17:00, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
French horn is still used, but it's still incorrect. The International Horn Society is more authoritative than any of the other sources you've cited. I think the current compromise is effective: the article is primarily listed under the correct name but acknowledges the alternate usage. WeisheitSuchen (talk) 23:09, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
It's nice that you guys reached consensus, but it's against policy. Policy says we use the most common name, and the article itself claims that is "french horn." Furthermore, the assertion that that "french horn" is incorrect is itself based on faulty reasoning, as both french fries and french toast are not from France, either.
Furthermore, the word "horn" has a lot more uses, and thus this title is ambiguous. If the redirect did not exist, I would personally rename this back, as it the other name is clearly established by policy. Instead, I merely implore you to read the policy and apply it, rather than asserting what is and is not correct. At the very least, the fact that "french horn" is incorrect is uncited and should go.— trlkly 14:31, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

As a British brass band player, a 'horn' is a tenor (E flat) saxhorn, and the curly things in orchestras are 'French horns' - although when I played orchestral trumpet (many moons ago...) the curly things were referred to as 'horns'. Therefore I'd suggest that the name depends (to some extent) on your background. And I'd be happy if someone could confirm what I was taught years ago - that the instrument is actually German, but the first players in Henry VIII's England came from France, so it was known as the French horn. FlugelD (talk) 22:52, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

You are absolutely correct, FlugelD. The instrument is German, and whether you call the instrument the French Horn or just the Horn is reliant (for the most part) on your background. The "French" Horn was invented in the southern region of present-day Germany (back then, Austria controlled most of that area). The name "French Horn" in fact came from Britain. But the instrument did not. Here is what happened and why it is called the French Horn in the U.K., the U.S.A., and certain parts of Canada:

The instrument was made in Austria, where it was commonly used in many Austrian-Hungarian-Southern German operas, folk tunes, orchestras, symphonies, and theatrical plays (Including many famous pieces by Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach). This is why many traditional Bavarian folk tunes have Horns, mainly to provide an up-beat rhythm. (by themselves, the horns in these tunes usually sound like they are playing an umpa-lumpa song) Before long, the Horn spread to different regions, and eventually made it over the Alps and into France. Because of the time period, the people of Great Britain payed little attention to the development of music taking place in Austria, France, and other European nations. Then, some people, mainly people from France, came to Britain, and they brought their Horns with them. This was the time of Great Britain's notorious King Henry the 8th, so not many people in Britain were very educated about the instrument. So, since the people who first introduced the instrument were French, and since the instrument had a very French-sounding, melodic tone, the British public called it the French Horn. Since the English originally dominated the area, the U.S.A. public had mainly the same customs and terminology that the public of Britain had. Therefore, the pioneers continued to use the name "French Horn" as the U.S. expanded and finally came to the Pacific Coast. Areas where English people were a minority called the instrument by its original name: The Horn! I am a (French) Horn player in the United States of America, by the way. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:09, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

In the interest of clarity there should be a page for Horns as a general classification of instruments as opposed to the actual instrument. I have created Horns (musical instruments) as a placeholder page to help resolve this issue. Any generic information about horns should be moved to this page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Telavir (talkcontribs) 19:13, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Fingering chart[edit]

Would a horn player please add explanatory commentary to the fingering chart? Thanks. Opus33 17:17, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Is this the standard format for a fingering chart in Wiki? I'm a long time horn player and am used to seeing fingering charts (not just for horn) shown as a chromatic scale with the proper fingers listed below rather than the notes playable listed for each fingering combination. The currently posted chart is a nice chart to look at from a physics perspective, but my musical side took a while to get used to it. I think the chart should be changed... I'd be willing to do the work and add explanatory commentary (Opus33's original request). lkawamot 10:34, 20, Oct 2004 (PST)

That would be great. Opus33 17:41, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Should not the last staff be labeled "F123", instead of "T123"?

Yes, that final staff should be labeled "F123" lkawamot

The reason they changed the name was because the horn isn't from France at's from Britain, and originated as a hunting horn. Do your research.

IT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT FROM BRITAIN!!! The "French" Horn was invented in the southern region of present-day Germany (back then, Austria controlled most of that area). The name "French Horn" did in fact come from Britain. But the instrument did not. Here is what happened and why it is called the French Horn in the U.K., the U.S.A., and certain parts of Canada: The instrument was made in Austria, where it was commonly used in many Austrian-Hungarian-Southern German operas, folk tunes, orchestras, symphonies, and theatrical plays. This is why many traditional Bavarian folk tunes have Horns, mainly to provide an up-beat rhythm. (by themselves, the horns in these tunes usually sound like they are playing an umpa-lumpa song) Before long, the Horn spread to different regions, and eventually made it over the Alps and into France. Because of the time period, the people of Great Britain payed little attention to the development of music taking place in Austria, France, and other European nations. Then, some people, mainly people from France, came to Britain, and they brought their Horns with them. This was the time of Henry the 8th, so not many people in Britain were very educated about the instrument. So, since the people who first introduced the instrument were French, the British public called it the French Horn. Since the English originally dominated the area, the U.S.A. public had mainly the same customs and terminology that the public of Britain had. Therefore, the pioneers continued to use the name "French Horn" as the U.S. expanded and finally came to the Pacific Coast.

                                         *by the way, I think that you are the one who should do your research, because the Hunting Horn came from Germany as well!
                                  In Germany, they would usually hunt together in small hunting parties.  The hunting horn was used by the hunters to signal many things,
                                                such as "Everyone else, get over here!", "Help!", "Time to wake-up!", or "Break camp!"*  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:44, 14 January 2012 (UTC) 

It's generally called the French Horn. A German instrument. Just a fun name, I guess. The English Horn is a fun one, too. It is neither English nor is it a horn! Gingermint (talk) 04:56, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Fingering Chart[edit]

As of September, 2010, there is no fingering chart. Could we have that back. It is really very useful information and it is criminally stupid to have cut it out. Gingermint (talk) 04:58, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Move some parts out[edit]

It seems that the list of well known horn players is in a constant state of flux with some being constantly added. I don't recognize many of the names. When I first created it I just brought it over from the german wikipedia page. It would be nice to explain why these people are noteable in the horn world on their pages before adding too many more names. It would also be more than nice if people added stub pages for horn players they add to the list. Otherwise all we have to rely on is a quick google test which usually tell me nothing about the person besides the fact that they play the horn. I've tried to create stubs for some of the more noteable (farkas, strauss), but I'm extremely slow at doing so due to lack of time (and some ambition).

That said, I would propose that we move the list of horn players, list of horn literature, and the list of horn manufacturers to their own pages as the german wiki has done. It would also be nice to also create the category of horn players (and maybe horn stub if we have enough articles, but let's not get carried away). If there are no objections I'll start taking care of some of this in the coming weeks. I think this would improve the article immensly as it's become too large. Other clean-ups for later. Thanks! Horndude77 00:39, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Ok, it seems that much of this work has happened. The article seems much more manageable with these parts broken off into their own seperate pages. I would like to submit this article to some sort of place on wikipedia for it to be cleaned up even more. I don't really want to submit it to articles needing attention, but that may be a good idea just to get it noticed. What I would like is just to get other people who look at pages for proof-reading and quality-assurance reasons to help improve it. It would be nice if within a year the article was up to a standard to submit it for front page material. Anyways if there are any opinions or ideas put them here. Thanks! Horndude77 00:43, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)


Im pretty sure the horn can go higher than the First C above the staff. I've only played for four years and I can play higher than that. I personally have seen a G in the ledger lines above the staff in a piece for horn.--Esmason 23:58, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

All printed and online sources I can quickly look up at the moment (such as [4] and [5]) give approximately this range (written pitch). I don't have any practical experience with the horn, so I can't tell whether you might be capable of going higher than that. If so, I assume it's not normally comfortable, stable and well-sounding. If not, you might be misreading something. EldKatt (Talk) 15:42, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
The horn can, indeed, go above the C above the treble staff (written C6); however, it is considered to be the top of the range in common practice settings. Some pieces, as have been noted, do go above this, not the least of which is the first horn part of Robert Schumann's Konzertstuck for four horns and orchestra. melizabethfleming 23:00, 1 February 2006
One comment I've heard before on this subject: yes, it is possible to play that high on the horn (I might add that there is no physical upper limit), but most of the time it's pointless. Give the high notes to the trumpets. If you want a more hornlike sound use a cornet, flugelhorn or even bassoon. High horn playing is demanding! Horndude77 03:00, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, I'm quite sure that some horn players can play up to about a G above the staff without chipping or making it sound terribly ugly. Only the young 01:32, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I think a mention should be made in the article that it is possible to play higher than C6. (or, for you concert pitch people, F). The range as is posted on the sidebar should remain the same, as it is the common practical range, but it should be noted that higher notes are possible, but mostly occur only in excersizes, and not in the established repertoire. Heavy Metal Cellisttalkcontribs

Most? Easily?[edit]

I reverted the change by Musicalenrichment that said that "...most players can easily play many notes beyond this range, both lower and higher." (emphasis mine) It seems a stretch to say that most can do more than that, especially "easily." Even at my best playing in college, I probably could only do a few notes outside the range currently given, and it was never "easy." I'm hardly a professional player, and maybe that's what Musicalenrichment meant--pros probably can do more and do it without making their faces turn purple.

Of course, if someone has a source that says I'm wrong, feel free to change it back and correct me. It just doesn't mesh with my experiences or any of the (non-professional) horn players I know.WeisheitSuchen (talk) 17:27, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Low register[edit]

You have left off an entire octave from the LOW range of the instrument. The commonly accepted range for the instrument is four octaves: written C two ledger lines below the bass clef to written C two ledger lines above the treble clef. See the fingering resource #2 mentioned above. While not commonly used in the wind band repertoire, in orchestral rep the horn is sometimes the lowest instrument in the ensemble, usually as written in the second or fourth horn parts. In fact, an excellent addition to this article would be the common practice of writing for the horn in pairs; 1/3 high, 2/4 low. As a fourth hornist in a symphony orchestra, I frequently play in this lower octave.

Talented players can play outside the four octave range in both directions, but such parts are rarely called for in the standard repertoire. Please correct the "Playing Range" graphic accordingly. sorry, not registered 22:25, 18 Apr 2006 (UTC)

A few horn players can get as low as the second written F sharp below the bass clef. Shostakovich wrote for even the first horn to go down to the written E flat below the bass clef, and orchestral fourth horns routinely play that low or lower, so the graphic should mark the normal range at least down to that low E and the potential range probably at written pedal C. 07:42, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I aggree. I have only been playing for about three years and I can even get much lower the the F below base clef. I'm sure that it could get to the seventh below that F in fact.Bull911 03:35, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Every single orchestration and band scoring text I've checked gives the range of the horn as three octaves from C to shining C. The highest possible pitch is limited by the embouchure of the individual player. Three valves make possible a diminished fourth below the low C (to F#), but these pitches are normally thought to be of poor quality. There is a big difference between possible range and usable range. Any notes lower than this F# are pedal tones: The normal lowest pitch in an valve (or slide in the case of the trombone) position on any brass instrument is actually the second harmonic, and especially skilled brass players can sometimes play the fundamentals (depending on the player and the instrument). Note that the standard range of the trumpet and trombone is only two octaves and a diminished fifth. Note also that higher pitches are easier to play on the double horn, which is essentially an F horn and Bb horn combined. TheScotch 08:14, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Orchestration texts are not written by players of the instrument. I am an experienced horn player that can assure you it is not at all unusual to use the pedal tones of the b-flat division-that is, F down to BB. I realize this is unusual among brass instruments, but the horn conforms to few other brass-family norms, either. 22:54, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Wow, I am so glad that the range of the horn is only three octaves. I guess when I play the fourth horn solo in the third movement of the Beethoven Ninth Symphony next weekend that I can just omit the notes that fall outside of that range. You better lay off the scotch "TheScotch." 19:51, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Re: "Orchestration texts are not written by players of the instrument.":
Presumably pretty much all orchestration text authors play at least one instrument or another. I can't think of a horn player orchestration text author off of the top of my head, but, for what it's worth, my undergraduate Wind and Percussion Scoring professor did happen to be an accomplished horn player, who also endorsed the three-octave range. Neither he nor any orchestration or band scoring text I know maintains that it is impossible to play beyond that range on either end, of course, or that it is never done, only that this is a reasonable practical range to cite. If it's a reasonable practical range to cite in an orchestra or band scoring text, it seems to me to follow that it's a reasonable practical range to cite in wikipedia. TheScotch 07:14, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Re: "I guess when I play the fourth horn solo in the third movement of the Beethoven Ninth Symphony":

Um...Beethoven didn't write for the valve horn. Horns with crooks will necessarily have different (differently transposed, that is) ranges. TheScotch 10:46, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

I invite you to ask the International Horn Society whether the range of the horn is three or four octaves. You are simply dead wrong on this issue. (talk) 21:57, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Unfortunately, we can't simply cite the IHS as an organization without referencing a specific publication. If you would like to provide a reliable source from the International Horn Society that gives a standard range, I think that could be a valuable addition to the article. WeisheitSuchen (talk) 22:17, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

As a horn player, I know that one can play at least a full octave below the second space C in the bass clef. Not only do many famous orchestral pieces include notes in this range (i.e.,Beethoven's Ninth Symphony), but one can navigate the entire octave chromatically with good tone using just the valves. One important note is that most common fingering charts and guides are constructed specifically for BAND texts and applications. In the arena of BAND literature for horn, the written range almost certainly is only 3 octaves, but one cannot forget the orchestral literature when determining the full range for the horn. I would recommend making a special annotation for this lowest octave and its importance in orchestral literature in particular. If you need a good source for information on the horn's low register, see the book Mastering the Horn's Low Register by Randy C. Gardner. It includes etudes and a host of orchestral excerpts written in this lowest octave and in some cases EVEN LOWER! The importance of mastering the horn's low register is great, because it enables a greater facility in the more common octave from the c below the treble clef to the c below that. jbgg007 22:00, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

This is an old discussion, but you'll note that the current range chart does show down to the E below the bass clef staff. I'll agree that the C below that is possible (even if I can only usually get the D-flat myself--I can never hit that bottom pedal tone). If you would like to create a new image showing the range down to the C, using the Gardner book as your citation, I think that would be fine. I don't think any discussion of band vs. orchestra is necessary in the sidebar, but it could be added to the Repertoire section, assuming you have a source to cite. WeisheitSuchen (talk) 11:56, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
There is some band repertoire that uses the lowest octave (the one that TehScotch keeps denying exists). Notably, the "Mass" movement from H. Owen Reed's "La Fiesta Mexicana" calls for the second and fourth horn to play bottom space (bass clef) A and the pedal D below that. It is rare, especially compared to orchestral repertoire, but is occasionally called for. (talk) 16:16, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

Coaching horn or Carriage horn[edit]

Would it be appropriate to include information on the coaching horn, the yard long horn most often seen today in royal events. Also the fox hunt horn? Or do you think of this as a pseudo trumpet? David 07:21, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

The coaching horn and hunting horn should be mentioned. The "yard long horn" seen in royal events isn't a horn at all, it's a ceremonial trumpet (with valves). Bivalve 00:04, 23 February 2007 (UTC)


What about descant horns? Or are those the "triple" horns?

... a descant horn is a special instrument, shorter in length, which is pitched an octave higher than the standard horn.

why aren't they on there?

they are. Descant horns are included in triple horns. The length doesn't actually make you play higher than a regular horn, it is just easier to get high notes in tune.

Well, descant horns are actually separate instruments than a triple. A descant horn is generally a type of double horn that includes the B-flat horn of the traditional double and an F-alto, a horn that is half the length of the lower F. A triple horn combines the low F and B-flat horns of the traditional double while adding the F-alto. The shorter "horn" on the triple and descant horns, as noted above, doesn't really make you play higher, just facilitates it. --Melizabethfleming 17:09, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

I think that this page should really only be about the french horns- like the single and duble horns. There could be links to other pages about other horns, but I think this page should be mostly about the french horn itself, for I play the french horn, and I could tell you a lot more about playing than this artical. -smartgirl22

I disagree. I think it's important to acknowledge that there are other types of horns besides the most common. Several of the horns mentioned do have separate articles with links in the article already though (Natural horn, Vienna horn, and Wagner tuba.) For an encyclopedia, I don't think that a lot of information on how to play the horn is the right subject matter. If you'd like to contribute some information on playing, why don't you check out the Wikibooks Horn? That already has a section on playing technique. The how-to information seems more appropriate there than here. WeisheitSuchen (talk) 11:48, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

The article mentions the Horn in Eb being used in British brass bands. The brass band instrument is an Eb Tenor Saxhorn (Alto in US), a very different beast from the plumber's nightmare used in orchestras. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:39, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Horns in communications[edit]

There should be something on this aspect.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  18:41, 1 September 2006 (UTC)


"The horn typically plays higher in its harmonic series than other common orchestral brass instruments, where the partials are closer together (and harder to distinguish), making the horn one of the more difficult instruments to learn." What does this mean? The article on partials didn't make this sentence clearer. --Gbleem 13:36, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

The article on harmonic series is probably more useful to you to explain this. The fundamental note of the horn is further away from the normal playing range than a trumpet or trombone or tuba's fundamental note vs. normal playing range. As you can see from the harmonic series article, the higher you are in the series, the closer together your notes are. Horns start higher in this series than any other (common) brass instrument. 04:45, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

The partials of the instrument means (like it said) what notes are able to be played with a certain fingering. On the usual brass instrument, there are two or three notes (depending on how you see it) able to be played in the middle, normal octive: the root note (the note a certain scale is started on,) the fifth above that (the fifth note in the same scale) and the octive above the root note. However, on the french horn, there are five notes able to be played in that octive. However, since the octives are the same length apart as a normal brass instrument, the partials are closer together (or more sensitive to pressure the lips exert). This means that much of the time a horn player uses to practice is spent on learning and getting used to the feeling of each parcial.

The problem posed by the horn is much worse on the octive above the middle octive. There are six or seven partials on the same octive (I never took the time to find out) and to add to that, the student or developing player is much more worried about keeping sound going in the high register than to try to aim for partials. This is one major reason why the double horn was developed. The trigger changes the pitch of the entire horn and moves the partials down a fifth. This means that the partials that are further apart (in the higher part of the octive) are now in the place of where they used to be closer together.Bull911 03:51, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Re: "the root note (the note a certain scale is started on,)" This is not what the term root means. Chords have roots; scales do not have roots. TheScotch 08:23, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Re: "Horns start higher in this series than any other (common) brass instrument." They are expected to go higher in the series, but they do not "start" higher. The horn's low C is the second harmonic of the open position just as the trumpet's low C is the second harmonic of its open position, just as the trombone's low Bb is the second harmonic of its closest slide position. TheScotch 08:23, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

For the record, as there are some errors up there, the bottom (fundamental) octave has one harmonic, the second has two, the third (starting on written middle C for the F side) has four, and the fourth has eight. 22:58, 18 April 2007 (UTC)


Trombones have slides. How is the word slide being used here. --Gbleem 13:43, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

In terms of Horns, the word "slide" is used to refer to all of the tuning slides on the insturment. I'll try to make it a little more specific. Heavy Metal Cellisttalkcontribs

Trombones use slides to change the length of the tube to make different notes. This same principle is used, but in much smaller incraments as to tune the horn.

red link removal/notable horn player section[edit]

I see that all of the links that didn't go to anything have been removed, added, and removed again. Is there anything wrong with keeping them? It would encourage their creation if they stayed. Also I see no reason to keep the notable horn player section here as it is just a subset of the list of horn players page (or it should be at least). I'll take care of this in a few days if I don't get any responses here. Horndude77 03:46, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I think the list of horn players in the Horn article should be kept. It gives the names of some of the most famous ones. The average non-hornplayer reader would be interested in seeing these without having to go to the other article. But I don't think it would be good to have the long list of hornplayers in the Horn article.

But then again, the articles for violin, trumpet, and piano don't contain the lists of players of those instruments in the actual articles.

(Despite my username, I agree that the article should be called Horn. Just look at the roster in the program book or website of an orchestra.)

JBFrenchhorn 10:17, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Notable Horn Players[edit]

I'm questioning the entry of Robert Hill under Notable Horn Players. I can't seem to find any information about him that makes me feel he should be listed with world-class musicians such as Farkas, Baumann, and Brain.

I think that Jon Stewart should be moved to the same section with Ewan McGregor. Stewart is not a world-class horn player either. 02/02/2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:09, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

The format of this section seems a little odd, with some some explanations in parenthesis and others simply followed by commas. And, though it seems like generally, the Orchestra that they play with is in the parenthesis, there seems to be no consensus as to prizes they won. For instance, Farkas's creation of the farkas horns is notable, by the convention it would seem as though it should follow his name with a comma, and not be in the parenthesis. Perhaps someone could clean this up and establish a convention. Metalsheep 01:40, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

I find it interesting that, of the people listed who are famous, but for something other than playing horn, only John Entwistle of The Who has said horn playing mentioned in his own article (as determined as a quick search for the word "horn"). Though, on the other hand, I suppose if it wasn't a very important part of their life, then it really doesn't need to be mentioned on their page. Entwistle on the other hand, played horn on multiple tracks for The Who, perhaps most noticeably on the Tommy album. (Imascrabblefreak (talk) 04:15, 3 April 2011 (UTC))

"Inside/outside" horns?[edit]

A recently added paragraph touches on something worth mentioning in the article, but otherwise seems to be only about 30% accurate from what I can tell (but I'm neither a horn player nor a music historian, that's why I'm editing Wikipedia....)

My understanding of the 1st/3rd and 2nd/4th pairing goes like this: In days of yore, it was considered impossible (perhaps it really was impossible with instruments of the time?) to play well in both the high register and the low register. Therefore, horn players trained to be either high horn players or low horn players, and that would be what they played for their careers, rarely if ever switching. Since it was common in music of the time to have horns paired high and low, sometimes using just one pair, the custom developed of having the 2nd horn be the more skilled of the two low horn players; the third horn player would be a high horn player who would reinforce the first when a full section was called for, and the fourth would reinforce the second. I've never heard anything about "outside" and "inside" players as mentioned in the new paragraph, and it doesn't really seem to follow logically. Anyone else heard of this? Am I close on the history here? --Rschmertz 06:42, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

As far as I can determine, orchestral hornists still specialize as either high or low horn players, and I'd never heard of the inside-outside thing before either. I would suppose, however, that the popularity of the double horn would make specializing less important. TheScotch 08:47, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

I've also never heard of the inside outside thing. Perhaps it was done from time to time (just like all sorts of crazy seating arrangements today), but I don't believe it was common. We should probably remove the paragraph or add a more detailed section on horn seating. Also the reason for the pairing of 1-2 and 3-4: Look at some of the orchestral scores of brahms for why this is the case. Brahms very often had 1-2 in one key and 3-4 in another. For example in his first symphony (C minor) horns 1-2 are in C and 3-4 are in E-flat (horns 3-4 are higher pitched here). This let him get a better variety of notes out of the horn section since they had no valves. I once played a piece by berlioz (I think it was him) that even had all 4 horns in different keys. Horndude77 05:06, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

From what my horn teachers have told me, TheScotch, although some horn players may specialize as low horn or high horn players, horn training is aimed at making players accomplished in both registers. Heavy Metal Cellisttalkcontribs 20:10, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Be that as it may, I still think "In pre-valve orchestral music, the traditional pair of horns were generally divided as a "high" horn and "low" horn" should be altered to read "Orchestral horns are traditionally grouped into "high" horn and "low" horn pairs." I don't think there is much question that the practice continued into the valve horn era and continues, at least to some extent, today, but even if it didn't, the traditionally would still have us covered. (We also save twelve syllables this way, and every word tells.) TheScotch 11:04, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

For what it's worth[edit]

That comment should have been m:eo:Korno (muzikinstrumento). Schissel | Sound the Note! 17:11, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Vienna Horn[edit]

Vienna Horn was just added to the related insturments list in the infobox at the top of the article. Should it be there? It seems to me to be pretty much the same instrument, but I've never played one. Has anyone here played a Vienna Horn to know how much different it is between it and a regular horn? Heavy Metal Cellisttalkcontribs

I haven't personally played one, however, I do know the basic differences. Like the article says, the main difference is the use of the Pumpenvalve, which affects how the air is redirected through the tubing. This is part of what gives the Vienna Horn a legato sound. The bell is also flared differently. Finally, instead of the modern horn mouthpiece, a traditional mouthpiece is used. Yes, they are essentially the same instrument, just developed in two different ways-HornandsoccerContribsTalk 16:50, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay. We might want to explain more of that in the article, which makes it seem like the Vienna Horn is a regular horn with different shaped valves. If there are more differences, we need to elaborate on them in the article. Heavy Metal Cellisttalkcontribs

Ummm.... Product Placement???[edit]

I think it is a bad idea to list popular models under the 'double horn' section. There are different horns popular everywhere, and professionals use a wide range of models, so listing popular models will become a list of all models that appear to be popular in one area. I think we should remove this from the article, as it is not particularly relevant to a basic understanding of the Horn. Heavy Metal Cellisttalkcontribs

I agree completetly that the mention of Conn Alexander and Paxman should be removed. It is a good idea to mention that many horns do not strictly fall into geyer or kruspe, but to specifically mention the Alexanders I think is unnecessary, and that a discussion of bell throat size can be accomplished without the mention of Paxman. I also feel that in the double horn section, it should be mentioned that the double descant horn exists, as at the moment, the only mention of the high F horn seems to be in the triple horn page. Also, I know some manufacturers make high G singles, and Finke, for instance makes a Bb/ high Bb double. I think these variations on the horn should be addressed in this article. Metalsheep 20:07, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Early History / Hunting Horns / Coaching Horns[edit]

At the moment there is nothing in the text about medieval hunting horns, which were, of course, actual cow's horns. There's an image of huntsmen sounding these instruments, but nothing to explain what they are. (Incidentally, the image is a 19th-century copy of a picture from Gaston Fébus's 14th-century hunting manual: it would be better if we could have a photo from a contemporary manuscript.) The metal hunting horn was a later development. Possibly there should be separate articles on "hunting horn" and "coaching horn" (="carriage horn" = "posthorn"): these could give appropriate coverage to those types of horn used as signalling instruments; this article could then focus on horns used as musical instruments. Bivalve 00:04, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Um, it sounds like you know more about this than the rest of us combined. Maybe you could add some of what you know? Heavy Metal Cellisttalkcontribs

Stopping Link[edit]

User:Musanim added a link to French Horn Stopping: Why the pitch shift?, which appeared to be a page within his own site. OK, spamming is badbadbad, but it seems like very interesting and relevant material. Can anyone vouch for its accuracy (or dispute any of its contents)? If it's accurate, it seems like a perfectly legit link which I would add back to the External Links section, even harvesting a bit of it, copyright issues permitting. --Rschmertz 05:41, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

This article seems pretty good. There is still a debate on what actually happens to the pitch/harmonic/etc and why, but this article covers well the current theory (as I understand it). I think it should stay.Csdorman 15:08, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
Ditto HornandsoccerTalk 21:07, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Difficult instrument[edit]

I have been undoing edits by an IP concerning the sentence The horn is considered one of the most difficult instruments to play.[citation needed], the last sentence of the lead paragraph. This got me thinking-how does one judge the difficulty of the instrument? Each is difficult in a different way. I have been reverting, but I will not do so any longer as I will be in violation of 3RR if I do, but still, I think this warrants discussion. HornandsoccerTalk 00:40, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Sorry but I agree with, that sentence is just one person's opinion, with no sources or substance to back it up. It's a perfect example of Generalization using weasel words. CiaranG 19:52, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I knew one conductor who would say "yes, it's a difficult instrument, isn't it?" when he wanted to be just a little bit insulting. Seriously though, I think that this opinion lingers from the days when the horn was a different instrument from what it is now; lots more character, but notoriously treacherous from the point of view of cracking notes and intonation. I'm not a horn player myself, but my impression is that the modern horn has evolved into a much smoother, more reliable instrument. To quote Alan Civil: "nowadays you can get working models ... which ensure that all the notes that used to be bad on, say, Alexander horns are easier to get. The tubing has been ironed out and the notes are in the centre ... but in doing this they've produced a metal instrument without much character." So I think it depends on what instrument you go for; a modern Conn is one thing, but if you stick to an old hand-horn for Beethoven, say, then yes, it's going to be difficult. --Stephen Burnett 21:17, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

The horn is hard to play, especially in comparison to the other brass instruments. It has the smallest mouth peice and is held in a very different position from almost all instruments. The fact that it's a brass instrument makes it hard as well. You have the same fingering for several notes and only your ambrosure decides which of those notes you play. I do, though, see the point that Stephen Burnett made about the statement being from the early days of the horn when they were still using crooks, and had to use there entire right hand to change notes instead of just three fingers on your left. I'm not really sure whether the statement The horn is considered one of the most difficult instruments to play.[citation needed] is true or not.

Almost everyone I have talked to agree that the Horn is one of the hardest instruments to learn to play. I have talked to many band directors who have had to learn how to play every instrument to get their music education degree, and they all say that the hardest instruments they had to learn were the Horn, the Harp, and the Oboe. There are numerous reasons why this is true, including a very exacting embouchre, an unstable playing position, a long bell that makes timing difficult, a conical shape that makes tuning difficult, and closely spaced partials that make as many as six fingerings for each note. I know that switching from trombone it took an hour to even figure out how to play the same note twice, and it took a week to figure out how to play the easiest scale. The Horn is definitely one of the hardest instruments to learn, and I think it is worth mentioning that in the article. Heavy Metal Cellisttalkcontribs

Seems like your spotting differences and claiming that is why F horn is harder, and I know band director who've said that french horn wasn't that hard FOR THEM (that's the major part) . —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:31, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Notable players[edit]

The three players on the end of the list don't seem to be very notable. I have not heard of them. Could someone either vouch for their notability or remove them from the list? Heavy Metal Cellisttalkcontribs

They are indeed notable. If you have seen just about any Hollywood movie in the last 30 years or so, with *ANY* horn, you have heard at least one, but almost certainly both of these players. Sommerville, principal of Boston, is also a very well-known player, Boston being one of the top symphonies in the country. However, I do think we need to do something about the criteria for admission on this list, and its related page, since I don't think that just any paid horn player in an orchestra qualifies as "notable" Csdorman 18:04, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Csdorman. James thatcher is well known (at least to me and my teachers) as one of the premier recording artists in L.A. and has been recording for somethingg like 30 years. i cant vouch for the others, though. Snail Doom 18:08, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Left handed instruments[edit]

Is the French Horn the only instrument that is played almost completely with just the left hand? -- SteveCrook 18:31, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Short answer, I think, is no. While the left hand does operate the valves, the right hand plays an important part in intonation and "solidifying" the partials in the upper register, as well as it's use in hand-stopping the horn. Although I suppose playing the horn one handed would be easier than trying to do the same with a clarinet, piano, or violin, it still needs two hands to be played properly.Csdorman 04:16, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

There is a sizeable repertoire of piano pieces for left hand only. One of my favorites is the Ravel piano concerto....You can play the harmonica with no hands (and a harmonica holder), but only if you don't use vibrato. TheScotch 06:26, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks [Csdorman], I don't suppose it would sound the same when played with the left hand and an old sock stuffed in the re instead of the right hand :) -- SteveCrook 07:04, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for that as well [TheScotch]-- SteveCrook 07:04, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

I've taken the liberty of moving the first remark to its proper place in the chronology, and I've added a bracketed reference to each of your remarks.

Right-handed hegemony makes the job the right hand customarily performs--where there is a difference--usuallly the more important. The cellist's left hand controls pitch, but without the right hand bowing there would be no sound at all. The more important job for instruments like the clarinet is accomplished by the mouth, and the hands have pretty much perform one function together equally. I'm guessing the horn is exceptional in this regard because it was originally valve-less and required hand-stopping. Players used to stopping with their right hands wanted to continue stopping with their right hands, and that necessitated assigning the valves to the left hand. Right-handed hegemony also strongly discourages cellists from playing left-handed, conductors from conducting left-handed, and so on, for no rational reason (although hegemonists will of course proffer plenty of rationalizations).TheScotch 07:29, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

I would agree, that is probably how the horn became (practically) the only brass instrument to control the valves with the left hand. The trombone with one or two attachements uses valves operated by the left hand, but the right hand still controls the primary way to change pitches (the slide). There are a few horns made mirror-image, for people who have some sort of problem with there left hand fingers, but these can be awkward to use in an orchestral situation, and even in that case, two hands will still be needed.Csdorman 12:02, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Triple horn[edit]

Does the triple horn need to be mentioned under other modifications when it already has its own section? Metalsheep 20:24, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

I shouldn't think so. The redundant passages should probably go. TheScotch 08:50, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Types of Horn[edit]

Due to the abundance of different types of horn, I feel it is impossible to give acceptable coverage to each kind on the main page. I propose that it be moved to its own separate page where things like stopping valves and low F extensions on descant doubles, High G horns, Bb-Bb alto doubles, miniature High F horns, student wrap horns, and all sorts of other variants can get proper coverage without cluttering the main page. To the average Wikipedia user, it might be more helpful if the main page were shorter with a brief discussion of the principle behind the double horn, the most common and often confusing type of horn, and have a detailed and expanded list on its own page. Metalsheep 21:47, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Missing types? I know nothing of horns except I have one on my lap that I was looking for info on. It is a forward facing horn. It has the circular winding in the size and shape of the French horn my daughter plays. It has only two valves. The right thumb plays a piston valve which is the first valve for a full note drop. The left hand plays a rotary valve for a half note drop. I thought I was picking up a marching French Horn, but they are not round according to the pictures I have seen on line and they have three piston valves. So it would be nice if the article included an identification of this horn. It says "Imperial" and was made in Canada. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:17, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Transposition & Key Signature[edit]

The transposition of the Horn & traditional omission of key signature is one of the more confusing issues for the non-musician or even non-player. I am wondering if we can tighten the existing discussion in the opening "General" section to provide a clearer explication as well as some examples. It deals with the baroque practice, but mention of later horn orchestral key signature notation is peremptory. Thoughts? Eusebeus (talk) 17:51, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

+++ Most orchestra horn players read a piece for, e.g. horn in G, horn in E flat or horn in D, etc., apart from F. This dates from the Classical and part of the romantic period, where horn players would change the main tuning slide for playing in a tone or other. Thus, covering thoroughly each tuning would make the article quite expanded, and it would be better, in my opinion, just to mention it.

Archiving Discussion[edit]

This discussion page is getting pretty long. If we archived it, which discussions would be current and necessary to keep? Obviously the Transposition & Key Signature, since Eusebeus just added it. What about the debate about Horn vs. French horn? It seems like that's been resolved (at least for the time being) and could be archived. None of the other discussions seem to be currently active. TheScotch, are there any other discussions you'd like to see kept active rather than archived? Maybe we can reach a compromise between Eusebus' archiving everything and TheScotch's archiving nothing. WeisheitSuchen (talk) 13:07, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Orchestral Horn Section[edit]

A new orchestral horn section has recently been added. I started cleaning it up a bit, but I think a lot of the information is contained above. Would anyone object to it just being removed? Perhaps some of the information could be incorporated (the list of pieces using lots of horns for example). It looks like User:Misha Mullov-Abbado has spent a bit of time working on it and I mean no offence. The horn page is already quite long and too wordy. The whole thing needs to be pared down a bit. Horndude77 (talk) 05:17, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Triple Horn Picture[edit]

Can someone get a picture of a triple horn to go along with the section? hornplayer2 (talk) 03:12, 22 May 2008 (UTC)


It seems that the low E chosen for the bottom of the horn range in the graphic in the infobox is rather arbitrary. One can easily go lower within the same partial set, by just pressing down more valves. The parital set in which that E lies continues down to C-flat; below that is another partial set that is quite difficult to reach, but many college-level players can reach the C lower than that E. If there's a technical reason why the E should be listed as the bottom of the range, feel free to respond. We should also reconsider the large-note "main range"; even composers as mainstream as Brahms have lower notes (see the fourth horn part to his Symph. no. 4, which has a low G). It seems that a note in a Brahms symphony would definitely be within the "standard range". I have also seen this low G in several other orchestral pieces, so I think it may be reasonable to change that as well. (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 08:52, 15 November 2008 (UTC).

There was an older discussion on this - some idiot unfamiliar with the horn said that since some orchestration text said the range was only three octaves, that must be the truth. Numerous others who have actually played the instrument shot him down but he was adamant that since HIS (non-)experience said the horn could play three octaves, that is the way it had to be shown. Someone else should come up with a new graphic and replace the one used that is so wrong. (talk) 15:30, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

Bass Clef Old and New notation[edit]

I might have missed it, but I see no mention of the old and new bass clef notations and the difference between them. Horn is the only instrument I know of that has two distinct notations in the bass clef. The old notation, used from the baroque period through the end of the romantic period, is written an octave lower than is played. The new notation (really the standard bass clef notation) is played as written. Jbgg007 (talk) 03:22, 27 May 2010 (UTC) jbgg007

It's mentioned with the range in the sidebar. It's understandable why you missed it. :) WeisheitSuchen (talk) 11:47, 27 May 2010 (UTC)


There's nothing on valve linkage: string, metal/mecahnical, etc. If you know about the various kinds, pros and cons, history, reasons behind using one over the other, etc., please add to the article. (talk) 15:23, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Playing range image - Range frenchhorn.png[edit]

The playing range picture in the info box to the right has wrong notes. The notes are a major 6th apart in the bass clef (instead of a perfect 5th) and a minor 3rd in the treble clef (should be a perfect 4th)...

Koca91 (talk) 20:21, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Types of Horn - Error in Entry[edit]

There is an error in this section.

Dennis Brain made his benchmark recordings of the Mozart Horn Concertos using a piston valved Raoux with an ascending third valve. I believe that this instrument is now on display in Edinburgh.

Dennis Brain recorded the Strauss 1st & 2nd concertos (as well as the Hindemith) on the single Bb made by Alexander, but only after it had been modified by Paxman. Two modifications were the leadpipe being extended and the key springs being replaced. Brain thought that the valves were sluggish and had more powerful springs made to speed up the valve return. This Alexander was the instrument which was destroyed in the car crash that killed him. The instrument was painstakingly restored by Paxman and remained on display with them throughout the 70s and 80s until the company moved from Covent Garden. It is now on display at the RAM. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:56, 16 May 2013 (UTC)


In the lead section, I have replaced a bad link to a non-existent "pumpenvalve" page with a good link to the "Double-piston valve" (or "pumpenvalve") section of the "Brass instrument valve" page. I had done this previously and had it reverted for some unspecified reason. Note that my correction DOES NOT change the text in the section!Heavenlyblue (talk) 23:37, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Concert band[edit]

I notice that there isn't much information in this article about the horn's role in concert bands. Can someone with knowledge of the topic add in more information? Saxophilist (talk) 06:24, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

Is someone going to add more information? Saxophilist (talk) 02:03, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Thank you[edit]

Thanks to everyone editing this page. Searching the internet to figure out information about the French Horn has not resulted in good information for me. This page lays out answers to everything I need to know. Thank you again! Taram (talk) 18:44, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

Requested move 20 December 2014[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Move. There is much to consider here. It seems clear that within the field, this instrument is typically called the "horn," with "French horn" being increasingly deprecated. However, it isn't the primary topic of the term "Horn" on Wikipedia, and needs to be disambiguated. The support !voters make compelling arguments that the parenthetical "(instrument)" does not adequately distinguish the article from others like Cor anglais and alto horn, or from Horn (anatomy) and Horn (acoustic) which also discuss instruments called "horns". Several oppose !voters also acknowledged this problem.
We have consensus to move, and a rough consensus to move to "French horn". This seems to be the obvious WP:NATURALDIS solution, which is generally preferable to parentheses. However, given the evidence that "French horn" is less common in the most relevant sources, this solution is imperfect and there may be a better way. No prejudice to starting a new RM if someone finds a better way to disambiguate. Cúchullain t/c 17:28, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Horn (instrument)French horn – The French horn is not the only musical instrument called the horn, therefore the disambiguator "(instrument)" does not adequately disambiguate. In many circles, the English horn or alto horn is the musical instrument that is simply called "the horn". Orchestras and concert bands call the French horn simply "the horn", but British brass bands use the word "horn" by itself to refer exclusively to the alto horn, as do Salvation Army brass bands around the world (the baritone horn is simply referred to as the "baritone"). The International Horn Society is biased towards giving the French horn precedence and exclusively calling this instrument "the horn" because their society is devoted to this instrument. "French horn" is the title that most of our users are going to expect for this article. We would support inclusivity and user expectations by moving this article to "French horn" and by redirecting the title "Horn (instrument)" to the Horn disambiguation page. Neelix (talk) 02:15, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

There is some discussion of this above at Talk:Horn (instrument)#"Horn" vs. "French horn". Horn (instrument) seems too ambiguous–arguably even including Vehicle horn or Ear trumpet, but certainly including English horn, Alto horn, Baritone horn, Flugel horn... Dekimasuよ! 02:42, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Or any minimally-adapted wild or domestic cattle or ram's horn's keratin sheath with a hole drilled in its point so it can be blown. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 16:10, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Canadian Brass CD booklet snippet
  • Interesting case. In addition to the ambiguity issues raised by the nominator, policy in favor of a move includes WP:UCN (use common names) / WP:OFFICIALNAMES (Wikipedia need not reflect official names) and WP:NATURAL (natural disambiguators are preferred to parentheticals). However, other authoritative works similar to Wikipedia use "horn", and "French horn" is considered not only unofficial but "incorrect, misleading and discouraged". I encourage participants to read the previous discussion above for additional discussion of the topic. —  AjaxSmack  03:17, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Comment: I object to the inclusion here of the CD information image. It proves nothing at all, and we do not have room for an image of every CD case, concert programme, orchestra listing etc that exists. I respectfully suggest that it should be removed. DBaK (talk) 09:06, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Rename to something. It clearly can't live here, since it isn't the only type of horn that is an instrument, indeed, musical instruments are not the only things that are called instruments which are also called horns. "(instrument)" necessarily cannot be used for this topic, it requires additional disambiguation, since not just other musical instruments but non-musical instruments are called "horns". The current title should redirect to the disambiguation page. -- (talk) 05:30, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose (at least for the moment). When considering the WP:COMMONNAME issue, it is important to consider the context in which a name is "common". In the present case, a quick check of the most widely used music-reference sources, New Grove, the Harvard Dictionary, and the Oxford Companion to Music, shows that all of them use simply "Horn" for this instrument, and have "French horn" only as a redirect. As the New Grove article puts it, "This article is concerned with the European orchestral horn, often referred to as the ‘french horn’, probably in recognition of its country of origin, but nowadays the adjective is normally omitted." (Note also the lowercase use of "french" in this quotation.) This is not a unanimous case, however. The minority position is taken by the Oxford Dictionary of Music, where the main article is "French horn". If there really is a problem with the title of this article, it would have to be with the disambiguator "(instrument)" being too broad, since every jazz player knows that referring to a musical instrument by the word "horn" includes the clarinet, saxophone, and flute, just as the word "ax" means any musical instrument at all, and outside of the field of music a shoe horn is also obviously an instrument (used to help getting a shoe on your foot). (On the other hand, I very much doubt that anyone ever uses the word "horn" by itself to refer to the "English horn". Its single-word designator in English is "cor", short for "cor Anglais".)—Jerome Kohl (talk) 21:43, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
You seem to be arguing against the current title (Horn (instrument)). What alternate title would you suggest? French horn seems clearly to be the most commonly used name for this instrument. Neelix (talk) 22:05, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
I think you are missing my point. Let me try to re-phrase my position. If the proposal here is to change the present article title to "French horn", then I oppose this change on grounds that, to quote New Grove once again, the instrument is "often referred to as the ‘french horn’, probably in recognition of its country of origin, but nowadays the adjective is normally omitted." In other word, New Grove says you are wrong when you contend "French horn" is the most commonly used term (unless of course you think things may have changed in the thirteen years since the second edition of New Grove was published). If on the other hand, the proposal is to change the disambiguator "instrument" to something like "musical instrument", "orchestral instrument", or "brass instrument", that is another matter entirely. I can see how some pedantic-minded readers might understand "instrument" in the sense of a scientific measuring apparatus, or an implement generally. All that I require is that a specific change be proposed, since I don't think I would be able to support a change to "Horn (coiled, conical-bored brass musical instrument with valves commonly employed in symphony orchestras)", for example. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jerome Kohl (talkcontribs)
New Grove states that this instrument is "often referred to as the 'french horn'"; this source seems hardly to make a strong argument against "French horn" being a common name for the instrument. Would you prefer a move to Orchestral horn? That name appears in the sources, although less frequently. French horn seems by far to be the best option to me, but if we lack concensus for that move, we could use a parenthetical disambiguator. Perhaps Horn (German orchestral instrument)? I don't think any of the other orchestral instruments called "horn" were developed in Germany. Neelix (talk) 23:23, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
You left out the most important part from the New Grove quotation: "but nowadays the adjective is normally omitted." I have been reviewing this article and, though it is primarily focused on the modern orchestral horn, it is by no means exclusively so. (The same is true of the New Grove article, by the way.) I see no reason why the name should not remain as it is, with the possible exception of a better parenthetical qualifier than just "instrument". "German orchestral instrument" seems singularly inapt, even if the form most generally encountered today owes much of its character to German builders. "Orchestral instrument" might serve, except that this would effectively mean discouraging future expansion of the historical section on the horn before it entered the orchestra. Why not just "musical instrument", since this must surely be the first instrument that springs to mind in this context (never mind that brass-band musicians call the alto horn simply "horn", or that jazz musicians habitually use the word for any wind instrument at all)?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 01:25, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
How can we simply dismiss the fact that brass band musicians call the alto horn simply "horn"? That we should not dismiss this fact is exactly the reason that I started this move discussion. I do not see why the portion of the quotation you mention is the most important part. The quotation makes it clear that "French horn" is a common name for the instrument, even if it isn't the absolutely most common name for it currently. This is a textbook example of an occasion for natural disambiguation. Neelix (talk) 18:04, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
User:Jerome Kohl, did you know that WP:NATURAL says that we should go with alternate unambiguous names rather than parenthetical disambiguators if we possibly can? Red Slash 08:53, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I do know that.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 00:50, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As has been much discussed previously, the common name for this instrument is simply "horn". Since that has other meanings we must disambiguate, and we don't normally disambiguate by using obsolete or archaic terms ("French horn" or "french horn"). Parenthetic disambiguation is necessary, and "(instrument)" is our standard disambiguator for musical instruments – see for example conch (instrument), clarion (instrument), chiba (instrument), chikara (instrument), chuk (instrument), cak (instrument), cuk (instrument), cura (instrument), cuatro (instrument).... --Deskford (talk) 02:06, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
    • Except that the standard disambiguator "(instrument)" is wrong and ambiguous. The ram's horn that is blown in antiquity is a musical instrument that is called a horn. This article cannot live at this name. Further instrument does not mean musical instruments, so in all cases where a name is shared between musical and non-musical instruments (or multiple musical instruments), "(instrument)" fails wP:PRECISE as it cannot specify the topic scope of the article. -- (talk) 04:56, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
    • Where is it the common name? In Britain, the common name, far and away, is French horn. Yes, this may be an ENGVAR issue, but given the preponderance of other instruments referred to as horns, I think the ambiguity requires us to move it to another title. -- Necrothesp (talk) 02:00, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
        • Deskford, did you know that WP:NATURAL says that we should go with alternate unambiguous names rather than parenthetical disambiguators if we possibly can? And this American--who has played in multiple bands including French horns--knows the instrument primarily as a "French horn". Red Slash 08:53, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Tough one. From WP:NATURAL: If it exists, choose an alternative name that the subject is also commonly called in English reliable sources, albeit not as commonly as the preferred-but-ambiguous title. Apparently, it seems to apply in this case. The nominator reasonably argues that the title "Horn (instrument)" is still ambiguous. However, there are also reasonable counter-arguments that a) French horn is still the primary among other horn instruments, so the current title is not realistically misleading and b) the suggested alternative name is suboptimal in terms of encyclopedic register and frequency of use. My first inclination was to support, but having read the article (which also serves as an overview of many derivative instruments) and discussion, I'm leaning on mild oppose. No such user (talk) 12:51, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
On behalf of all of the British brass bands and Salvation Army brass bands in the world, I would contest the idea that this title is not realistically misleading. I and many people I know would find this title deeply misleading. Neelix (talk) 17:59, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's perfectly clear as it is and it would be a shame to use a name regarded by many as unfortunate and inaccurate. Some of the arguments about the ambiguity of "horn" are rather extreme and do not stand up to close scrutiny; there is no risk of confusion with conches, cors anglais, flugelhorns, tenor horns etc because context is everything and context would look after all those examples and more. I literally cannot think of one occasion in all my many boring decades of endless soul-destroying involvement with brass playing in its many many guises where this claimed ambiguity would be a real thing. Best wishes to all DBaK (talk) 19:33, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
    • That would only count as Horn (musical instrument) not "Horn (instrument)". Music isn't the only field where instruments called horns occur. Indeed, much more common than this musical instrument are horns used as RF instruments. -- (talk) 00:46, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
      • I continue to be unconvinced. Context is all. Is there some evidence for this confusion with other horn "instruments"? Best wishes DBaK (talk) 12:24, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
        • I don't understand what you mean by "context is all". As far as I can tell, that is exactly my point; in many contexts, such as in the context of British brass bands and Salvation Army brass bands, it is the alto horn and not the French horn that is simply called "the horn". Plenty of people who perform in such bands would assume "Horn (instrument)" to refer to the alto horn and not the French horn, so that title should be directed to the disambiguation page. Neelix (talk) 17:56, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. To my mild surprise, Horn (acoustic) is a separate article, with little mention in this article. Logically, the French Horn is a special type of horn. OK, a very special type. But I disagree with the International Horn Society in recommending that the instrument be simply called the horn, on the basis that they have a biased perspective different to the broad encyclopedic perspective. So, this article should not be moved to Horn.
Given the current status of the articles, and the unlikelhood of merging this article into Horn (acoustic), I think titling French Horn is the way to go. I am unconvinced that horn should be lowercase, though I anticipate being beaten with a reason. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:50, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, the majority of the sources do not capitalize the "H". Also, the other articles called "X horn" do not capitalize the "H" (ex. Alto horn, Baritone horn, Natural horn, etc.). Is there any reason you feel that it should be capitalized in this case? Neelix (talk) 21:38, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
The only reason the first word in each case is capitalized it because article titles begin with a capital letter, as do sentences. Otherwise, common nouns and adjectives are lowercased in English, as is done in the bodies of those articles. Proper nouns and adjectives of course are capitalized, one of the more unusual examples in the name of a musical instrument being the ondes Martenot.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 22:09, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, sometimes the distinction of a proper noun/name is a bit blurry to me. These instruments have personalities, but no, french horns are not all the same individual. Support move to French horn. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:02, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. In Britain, it is almost never referred to as anything other than the French horn, and we call several other instruments the "horn", as do many other countries. It is therefore far too ambiguous. -- Necrothesp (talk) 02:00, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
    • Interesting that you see it that way. My experience is UK-based, and I don't recall ever seeing the term "French horn" used on concert programmes, listings, or CDs originating from here. Terms such as "French Horn Concerto" or "French Horn Trio" would seem quaintly antiquated. The only two CDs I have seen using the term "French horn" emanate from the US, so I had assumed the term might be slightly more common in North America. --Deskford (talk) 08:51, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. Despite the comments above, it would appear that the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra calls it a French horn, as do the British Army Corps of Army Music and the RAF Music Services. Yes, many orchestras do call it simply the horn, but this proves that the term "French horn" is used even by professionals. -- Necrothesp (talk) 02:17, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
    • Well there will always be exceptions – your selection of the Royal Philharmonic made me wonder what the other London orchestras use, and of course the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonia all use simply "horn". --Deskford (talk) 08:51, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
      • Comment - yes, well, there is quite a lot of careful choosing of "evidence" going on here ... DBaK (talk) 09:19, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
      • Indeed the others do use simply "horn". But my point was simply that the use of French horn is not unheard of even among professionals, and given that "horn" is highly ambiguous then there is nothing wrong with using the qualifier. I am a trumpet player and when I played in a school orchestra many years ago nobody would have dreamed of referring to anything other than a French horn. And as has already been pointed out, in the British-style brass band scene (which is massive in Britain and elsewhere), "horn" means something entirely different. I'm puzzled as to what people's problem is with making the article name unambiguous by using a term which clearly is commonly used. Because it sounds very much like a certain sniffiness from French horn players (and maybe from orchestral musicians in general) and an apparent belief that their horn is more significant than the others which use this name. That attitude, if it is such, really does not benefit the encyclopaedia. -- Necrothesp (talk) 14:24, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - this could be the canonical example for WP:NATURAL. We always strive to have natural disambiguation, and "French horn" is a perfectly adequate title. I also note that the current disambiguation is no help - I would never have assumed that this title would lead to an article that only discussed French horns, and not, say, trumpets. Red Slash 08:50, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per NATURAL and Deskford's Necro's evidence. -- Calidum 00:09, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: Erm, Deskford's evidence was in opposition, not in support. Are you sure you didn't press the wrong button by mistake?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 00:36, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I meant Necro's. Thanks. -- Calidum 01:56, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "The horn, informally also known as the French horn", - how would that be rewritten after a move, and how the rest of the article calling it just horn, which seems the common name? I have many pipe links from corno [da caccia], - they would look strange from an Italian term to "French" used in one area of the world. Please stay general and international. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 23:30, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
    • But how would you disambiguate? There is more than one musical instrument that is called a horn. Why should this be the default? -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:41, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
    • I think "natural disambiguation" has already been mentioned, which in this case would also be a matter of "common name". I understand Gerda in this way. The overwhelming usage of "the horn" (as opposed to "any horn" or "the general class of horns") is to the coiled brass instrument commonly found in symphony orchestras, rather than to the slighty less circularly coiled brass instruments employed in brass bands, or other instruments. (I should think that experienced brass-band players would know of that other "horn", which is meant when the brass band is not a specific context, whereas orchestral players are probably completely unaware of the specialized brass-band terminology.) This is comparable to the use of "The United States", which means the United States of America unless otherwise specified, such as "The United States of Mexico".—Jerome Kohl (talk) 01:48, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
      • No, the French horn overwhelmingly refers to this instrument. The horn can refer to a variety of instruments depending on context. Other than sniffy orchestral fans, I doubt whether anyone in the UK would refer to a French horn simply as a horn, although I can't speak for the rest of the world. It's a simple fact that French horn is its common name in the outside world, whether its players like it or not. If I thought of a horn (in its instrumental sense, as opposed to its vehicular sense), to be honest my first thought would be a hunting horn or post horn, my second a brass band horn, my third probably the colloquial name for a trumpet, and possibly my fourth that instrument that usually has "French" appended to the beginning! I think it definitely needs some form of disambiguation, and the natural disambiguation is to call it a French horn. This being English Wikipedia, incidentally, it doesn't really matter what they call it in non-English-speaking countries. -- Necrothesp (talk) 00:39, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
      • You must live in a different UK than the one Deskford lives in, then. He seems to think that no-one in the UK would ever refer to the horn as a "French" horn. Interesting that your first choice for the bare word "horn" is the hunting horn. I presume you mean that little braying thing employed by the British unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible, as opposed to the once similarly employed instrument in France, called trompes de chasse and still played by enthusiast groups such as the Rallye-Louvarts de Paris. Or would you include this "French" hunting horn as well?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 01:48, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
        • I must, but I can assure you he's utterly and completely wrong. Although in all fairness he was confining his evidence, as most of the antis here appear to be, to the classical music scene and not to common usage (they are rather different things!). Actually, as a military historian I was personally thinking more of the curly European-style hunting horn that appears on light infantry badges and is related to (but is not) the orchestral French horn! Post horns of course can also be curly or straight. -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:00, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
          • Comment With the greatest of respect, can we please stop assuming that we know people's backgrounds and motives, claiming that they speak for a certain constituency, or that we do ... this whole gamut of assumptions is really inappropriate and it makes me deeply unhappy to have these - wrong - assumptions made about me, or claims made about who I am and why I might think what I do. Please. Thank you and best wishes DBaK (talk) 19:42, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
            • With the greatest of respect, please don't put this under my comment when I did no such thing! -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:08, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
    • To answer Gerda's question, '"The horn, informally also known as the French horn", - how would that be rewritten after a move...'? Easy: "The French horn, commonly known in orchestral music simply as a horn..." -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:04, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
Question is not answered. If horn gets moved to French horn as in symphony orchestra, I will have to go over Baroques music articles, on music with horns but NOT French horn, for example corno da caccia, which so far redirects to here. I understand that so far this was a general article. French horn is a modern specific kind of instruments, - I oppose calling the general article a specific term. - If we move we have stopped to be a general article. Is that what we want? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:15, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, obviously there will need to be a rewrite then, but it is irritating to those of us who know of horns not related to this instrument that the default article for horn (instrument) is this one, which implies this is the most important or even only instrument called a horn. The title is simply too generic for this particular breed of instrument to be seen as the primary topic. -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:11, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
You think this article is about a particular instrument, I think it is about the musical instruments called horn in a broad sense. If you are right, corno da caccia should not redirect here, because it is not that particular instrument (but then what, an extra article? redirect to Baroque instruments?). If I am right it should not be moved. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 16:54, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Per WP:PRECISE. Softlavender (talk) 09:33, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support obviously. "Horn" is an entire class of instrument, and depending on particular contexts several specific types of instrument. This is basically the same case as "billiards" (both a class of games, the cue sports, and depending on locale or other context, various specific ones, such as English billiards in the Commonwealth, Pool (pocket billiards) in North America, and carom billiards everywhere else). "Horn (instrument)" is hopelessly ambiguous, despite the attempt to parenthetically disambiguate it from animal horns. See also WP:NATURAL policy - we seek to use natural disambiguation instead of adding parentheticals whenever we can.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  11:12, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
What is so obvious to you is not to me. This article covers an entire class of instruments, French horn is only part of them. Repeating: if this will be French Horn, the others should no longer be covered, but then what about them? I can't redirect a Baroque corno da caccia to (a narrow) French Horn. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 15:28, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
This article only covers some musical instruments. It most definitely does not cover various types of horns that are various kinds of instruments which are not musical. "Instrument" =/= "musical instrument" . This is hopelessly ambiguous. -- (talk) 14:54, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
If you think "(musical instrument)" is needed instead of "(instrument)", as in Recorder (musical instrument), I would not object, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 15:16, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Redo run-together pair of Dab hatnotes that address unrelated Rdrs[edit]

   (The section title matches my comment on the edit i just made.) The previous single-template HatNote appears to have been constructed on the premise that {{Redirect2}} provides its 1st-four-args form merely in order to reduce the number of template calls required whenever 2 Rdrs point to the article, and two other articles may be relevant. Rather, it is suitable for situations like "Horn" and "Horns" redirecting here, and Foghorn and Car horn being relevant to both cases. But in this case, those who arrived from "Corno" were being confused by the lk to the restaurant, and those from "French horn" by the lk to the river.
--Jerzyt 03:28, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

French horn?[edit]

Bach and Handel[edit]

Bach and Handel didn't write for what we know as the French horn. How will the article be changed to reflect that? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 21:44, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Could the slightly weedy article at Natural horn be bolstered to become a usable target for those links, perhaps?? (talk) 23:34, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
That's one option, an article (instead of an unsuitable redirect to here) of Corno da caccia would be another. We have Corno da tirarsi. First thing would be to mention in this article that French horn doesn't mean all these older instruments. I removed the links from Bach articles for which I feel responsible. No horn in Messiah ;) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 23:41, 20 January 2015 (UTC)


The article's name is now French horn, while the second paragraph says that the International Horn Society recommends to call it Horn. How is that going to be explained to the reader? The Brandenburg Concertos (see above, only an example of the problem) are still mentioned in the article without a hint that they were not composed for a French horn. Clean-up or move back, that is the question. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:37, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

There is also an (inappropriate?) redirect from Hunting horn to this article. Shouldn't this now be changed to direct to Natural horn?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 19:20, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Done. - The bigger problem is that Horn (instrument) redirects here, while many musical instruments named horn are not a French horn, and many innocent users, sure they found the right link, or simply remembering, will not notice. Should it be made a disambuigation? - de:Corno da caccia could be translated, for a short article or part of Baroque instruments. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 21:39, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Good point. I notice that Horn is a disambiguation page (entirely as it should be), and that amongst other things it directs to several "Horn (instrument}"-type articles. I cannot recall having seen an example of nested disambiguation pages, but I suppose they must exist. While we are about it, should the material not about the "French" horn in this article be removed as irrelevant to the subject of the article and, if so, will this require making new articles, or are there existing articles already covering these instruments?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 21:48, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, no idea, will look at Horn after sleep. The easiest way to solve the problems would be to revert the problematic move, but I believe in miracles only up to a certain point. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 23:22, 26 January 2015 (UTC)