Power, beauty, and versatility - a triple threat in the world of music. If you're looking for an instrument that performs sweet, delicate melodies immediately following a roaring entrance, all the while performing with both brass and woodwinds, then look no further than the French horn.
Instrument: Horn (commonly called "French horn")
Origin: French, German, Russian*
*The German variety is closest to the style used today
The Horn is quite the instrument - while it's been compacted into a circular shape, the tubing amounts to a whopping 20 feet in length! It is also conical, or cone-shaped tubing. Near the mouthpiece, the tube is smaller in diameter, gradually increasing until the flaring bell at the end. This contributes to the horn's unique, piercing tone.
The United States Army Band Woodwind Quintet (usarmyband.com), featuring flute, oboe,
clarinet, horn, and bassoon.
The horn is capable of performing eloquently both as a solo instrument and in various ensembles. As a brass instrument, it is a prominent feature in brass duos, trios, quartets, quintets, and beyond. But, the horn is also necessary for woodwind quintets as well. While the horn can play loud fanfares, it is uniquely able to play as quietly and as charming as a woodwind instrument. It is also commonly paired with the violin and piano to create a standard horn trio. Take a listen to this beautiful Brahms horn trio performed by Dale Clevenger, former principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra!
Explore the horn in all of its glory! It's an exceptional instrument perfect for any venue - its sweet nature would add something special to a wedding ceremony, while the more robust tones lend themselves exquisitely to a grand opening fanfare. Stay tuned for more Instrument Bios, a guide to selecting the perfect instrumentation for any event!