Horn (brass instrument)
|Horn (brass instrument)|
|Engl .: (French) horn , Italian .: corno|
in F: sounds a fifth lower
List of horn players
Category: Horn player
The horn , formerly mostly known as French horn and also referred to as corno in orchestral literature, is a brass instrument made of brass or gold brass with a reed wound in several circles . Characteristic of the horn or double horn is the design with a funnel mouthpiece , a narrow conical scale length , a large barrel length of around 370 cm and a wide bell (horn with a diameter of around 30.5 cm, called lintels ) and the historical hand position with the right hand in the bell and the left on the valves .
Structure and sound
A horn is basically a roughly circular, wound tube with a tangentially protruding leadpipe (to accommodate the mouthpiece ) and a bell , which can be changed in length when using valves while making music.
The sound of the horn ranges from full and warm to strong and very bright, depending on the dynamics and position. It is quite homogeneous through all registers, only the lowest notes appear a bit dull and heavier. It sounds comparatively less sharp in the forte and, due to the indirect sound emission and the funnel mouthpiece, a bit quieter than a trumpet or trombone .
Of the brass group, the horn is the most homogeneous instrument, i.e. the one with the highest degree of fusion with other instrument groups in the orchestra.
It also establishes its own family of brass instruments with a funnel mouthpiece , and thus its own family of sounds. Accordingly, in addition to its supporting single role in classical-romantic orchestral movements, it takes on a hybrid position between the group of woodwinds and brass : Because of its round (to that extent increasingly sine-tone-like) sound character in higher registers, it is a predictable, often complementary, filling, acoustic factor popular in the complex spectral events of the wood group. It can join the sheet metal with a crash. For these reasons, the horn systems are traditionally always placed directly below the wood and above the brass in scores.
Horn types of the present
F-horn and F- / B-flat double horn
In the field of classical orchestral and brass music , either a pure F horn (more rarely: a pure Bb or Eb horn) or a so-called F / Bb double horn is used. Since the F horn became the standard tuning at the end of the 19th century, horn parts are almost exclusively notated in F today. In this respect there is a registered relationship with the English horn in F (double reed family, i.e. related to the oboe ) and the basset horn in F (single reed family, i.e. related to the clarinet ).
Since the F horn in particular is very long - it has the same tube length as an F tuba - the natural tones are very close to one another in the high register, so that even small inaccuracies in playing cannot produce the desired note. That is why nowadays a double horn is usually used, which combines an F horn with a fourth higher B horn, with which higher notes can be hit a little more easily. Both have their own valve cable extensions on a main pipe (F horn). The greater security in the literature to be played and greater tonal and intonational possibilities make the double horn the standard instrument in today's orchestral practice.
During the Baroque and Classical periods, only natural horns without valves were used, which only have a limited range of tones and changed their tuning with different bow lengths. Their voices were always notated in the key of the piece or in their root and minor third for minor keys (e.g. one horn in C and one in E flat for C minor). Even until the late Romantic period - such as Johannes Brahms and Richard Strauss - Horns were often transposing listed as composers sometimes looked nor the natural horn as an ideal and accidentals wanted to avoid for horn players. These parts are still played today from the original parts, which means that the modern horn often has to be transposed (the horn in F, like the horn in E- flat, as a so-called transposing instrument, is notated a fifth or a major sixth higher than it sounds ) and a horn player should be practiced in transposing Primavista .
In addition to the F / Bb double horn, double horns in Bb / high-F are also built. A triple horn combines three basic tunings : F / Bb / high-f and is mainly used for delicate orchestral passages as well as high classical and baroque literature.
In Austria around Vienna z. For example, the Wiener Philharmoniker and Wiener Symphoniker still have the tradition of the pure F horn with special pump valves , a smaller scale length and a rounded, curved mouthpipe.
In the course of historical performance practice, a natural or invention horn (stuffing horn) is often used again for concerts of baroque and classical works. Pieces from that period were composed for such horns. Certain effects only come through the plug to bear, even they sound like the natural trumpets less sharp than today's instruments. At Bach, the corno da caccia is sometimes used. From the age of musical late romanticism (around 1850), the natural horn (for newly written music) became largely obsolete.
The functionality of the instrument is described in the article brass instrument .
History and construction
The horn as a musical instrument consisted in its original form of an animal horn, more precisely a horn sheath of the animal groups called Cavicornia (cattle, sheep, goats). The horn was blown at the chipped tip or at an opening drilled on the side.
Horns from prehistoric times to the 17th century
The oldest horns go back to snail and mussel shells, tubular bones, animal horns, wood, terracotta and metal. Among other things, they were used for ritual and military purposes.
- Snail horns have been handed down from Assyria , which were used in cult activities between 2000 and 1500 BC. Were used.
- According to the cave drawings, the Australian didgeridoo has existed since at least 1000 BC. BC, the oldest find is around 1500 years old.
- Priests of ancient Mexican cultures used snail horns , which they called Tecciztli or Quiquiztli , with which they conjured up rain gods.
- The Jewish shofar , a ram's horn, a sacred instrument used by the Israelites to call the congregation together
- The "first trumpet maker named in writing" (1000 BC) ( Num 10 Lut ): "And the LORD spoke to Moses and said: Make yourself two trumpets of chased silver ..." - The seven "Trumpets of Jericho " sounded promptly ( approx. 80 years) then under Josua's army leadership ( Jos 6 Lut )
- The Etruscans brought about 700 BC. Terracotta horns from their Greek homeland to central Italy with a crescent-shaped curve.
- Very early on, ancient peoples developed the art of making wind instruments from thin-walled metal tubes, such as the Egyptians, Indians, Chinese, Hebrews and Greeks. The Romans knew the cornu , according to Vegetius also the tuba and bucina .
- The Teutons cast their Lurs from bronze.
- The olifant , an ivory horn made from a hollowed-out tusk of an elephant , is known from the early Middle Ages .
- The hip horn was a bugle that was initially made from cattle horn and later a metal mouthpiece was attached.
- The alphorn in its current form has been recorded in Switzerland as early as 1500 . Certainly, similarly built instruments were built independently of one another in many cultures.
- In the Middle Ages, horns made from cattle horns were used by night watchmen, fire keepers, tower blowers, shepherds, bakers and postillons . More rarely, horns were also made of bronze.
- Instruments with an essential feature of today's French horn, the circularly curved tube , were already known in late antiquity. However, because of the technical difficulties, such instruments were probably not built again until the late Middle Ages. Images of such "horns" can be found on depictions in Worcester or Terlan in Tyrol.
Forerunner of the horn
At the end of the 17th century the circular horn found its way into art music. Louis XIV employed 14 full-force horn players to create court music. Jean-Baptiste Lully soon brought these instruments to the orchestra as well . Similar to the trumpeters, parts and solo concerts in a very high clarin position were also written for the horn players in the Baroque period .
This instrument, the corno da caccia , was, however, a round trumpet in terms of design and sound , which was played with a kettle mouthpiece . It was introduced to Germany in 1681 by the Bohemian Count Franz Anton von Sporck . As a result, horn blowing was particularly cultivated in Bohemia and the first great horn players on the French horn came from Bohemia, such as Anton Joseph Hampel , Johann Wenzel Stich , Karl Haudek or Johann Joseph Rudolph .
In addition, other circular instruments were developed during this time, such as the parforce horn , a large-winded instrument for equestrian hunting.
The trumpet is very similar to the horn, but is not a precursor of the horn.
- Introduction of tamping technology . Around 1753, Hampel decisively developed the tamping technique and, as one of the best teachers of his time on this instrument, passed it on to his pupil ( Giovanni Punto ). In the case of natural horns, this plug is primarily understood to be a technique for changing the pitch of natural tones , in which the (usually right) hand in the horn of the horn is closed (plugged) to different degrees in the funnel . This causes a stepless deepening of the pitch up to about a third . The complete removal of the hand causes an increase of up to about a quarter tone. This technique requires a lot of practice and has to be differentiated for each tone, as an accompanying change in timbre must also be compensated for by the wind player. It is also used to compensate for the intonation of the modern valve French horn.
- The complete plugging (tight plugging of the bell with the flat of your hand) causes, among other things, a tonal change: the sound (blown normally) is very quiet, but extremely sharp and sharp if you maintain the dynamics relatively. This effect is therefore used musically for "echo effects", as the fundamental tone is strongly attenuated. This special sound can also be produced with a so-called damper (or “stopper” for short). In modern notation, a “+” or “bouché” is given over tones to be blown. The resolution in the notation takes place with the note “o” or “ ouvert ”.
- At the same time, there was a change from the kettle mouthpiece to the funnel mouthpiece , with which the sound became even rounder and more "romantic".
- Hampel achieved a further improvement around 1750 with the installation of an invention train in the horn. The different tunings of the natural horn are realized with attachment bows. Fine tuning was made possible by small attachments. Hampel had the instrument maker Johann Werner put a train (Inventionszug) in the middle of the horn in order to better implement this fine tuning. The large essays for the basic parts have been preserved. It was not until 1800 that the form of the cor solo was added later. This had a fixed lead pipe and the vocal arcs were placed on the central slide. Since the change was more complicated (the fixed leadpipe had advantages), this variant, as the name suggests, was only reserved for soloist instruments (see Korn's instrument in the Leipzig collection). However, at this time there were also simpler instruments that were built in their key (mostly in D or Eb).
In summary, the following features led to a modified instrument with new sound properties:
- the ratio of the barrel course of baroque instruments from 1/3 conical to 2/3 cylindrical changed more and more to 2/3 conical to 1/3 cylindrical on the horn.
- the kettle mouthpiece turned into a funnel mouthpiece
- the bell diameter increased
- technical function of the player's right hand
Today, within the framework of a historical performance practice that is as faithful as possible, there is again a pleasing renaissance of the natural horn in its forms as a baroque instrument, parforce horn or invention horn. The horn player Hermann Baumann and Die Deutschen Naturhornsolisten have made great contributions to the revival and interpretation of the natural horn .
Forerunner of the valve horn
During this time, people were repeatedly looking for other solutions to replace the plug-in technology.
- In 1760, the horn player Ferdinand Kölbel in St. Petersburg developed a horn with a so-called "Cupid sound".
- In 1788 Charles Clagget tried in London a combination between a D and an Eb tuning using an early form of the valve.
- In 1812, the Mannheim horn player Christian Dickhut reported in the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung about his invention of the movable invention move (similar to a trombone move).
- 1818: With the construction of omnitonic instruments by Dupont, all vocal arcs were combined in one instrument.
- From 1800 there were also attempts for a horn with keys, similar to the keyed trumpet.
The last significant change to the horn (like the other brass instruments ) was the invention of the valve , which was invented around 1813 by the horn player Friedrich Blühmel . The horn player and mechanic Heinrich Stölzel , who had also developed a valve horn independently of him, reached an agreement with Blühmel on his rights and had his invention patented on April 12, 1818. Initially built with two valves, they were initially blown like natural horns, the valves only replaced the cumbersome bend change. Around 1830, different instrument makers independently added a third valve. The Leipzig Christian Friedrich Sattler is significant , who built one of the first chromatic horns and thus contributed to the replacement of the natural horn.
While Carl Maria von Weber had strictly rejected the use of the valve horn (at his time still with two valves and therefore very imperfect) in the orchestra, the change was made in almost all orchestras around 1850, although the tradition of the natural horn lived on separately for some time. Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the first to have the valve horn in his head in his compositions: in the 3rd movement of his 9th symphony , in the solo of the 4th horn.
The tuning of the valve horns was initially set to F, but soon attempts were made to also build shorter instruments in Bb, which responded better and more safely in the treble. An F horn has F (F2) as the lowest natural tone, corresponding to 87.3 Hz. The physical length is 3.78 m, corresponding to L = vs / F = 330 m ⁄ s / 87.3 1 ⁄ s = 3, 78 m.
A Bb horn has Bb (Bb2) as the lowest natural tone, corresponding to 116.5 Hz. The physical length is 2.83 m, corresponding to L = vs / F = 330 m ⁄ s / 116.5 1 ⁄ s = 2, 83 m.
In 1897 Eduard Kruspe and Bartholomäus Geisig from Erfurt constructed the first compensated double horn. The B-tuning of an instrument can be lengthened by approx. 100 cm to "F" using a main switching valve, and each of the three double-decker playing valves has a corresponding length added. In 1904 the company Ed. Kruspe presented the world's first fully developed double horn (Horner / Philadelphia model) in Erfurt. Since 1909 the company Gebr. Alexander Mainz has been building a fully developed double horn (model 103). With the fully developed double horn you can choose between the “F” or the shorter “B” length with the main switch valve. Both types of instruments are still blown to this day; the fully developed instruments have established themselves with the majority of orchestral musicians today. For works or passages in the highest register, treble double horns have been offered since the 1960s, both in compensated and fully developed designs. With these horns, the Bb horn is combined with a high F horn (or rarely with a high Eb horn).
From around 1970 the high F tuning was started to be integrated into the double horn. The result was triple horns with three-tier playing valves in the tuning low F / Bb / high F. Around 1995, the Engelbert Schmid company has been building an F / Bb / high Eb triple horn, in which the distance from B to high Eb as well as from B to deep F is a fourth.
The Viennese horn is an exception . It practically corresponds to an inventions horn with an F-bow, which was equipped with pump valves. With the Vienna Philharmonic , due to the special sound quality of the pure F horn and the pump valves, it is mandatory that the horn players blow on a Viennese horn, which in combination with other historical instrumental features creates the Viennese sound style .
Special forms of a double horn were the chromatic horns based on the Prager system, produced around 1930 by the August Knopf company in Markneukirchen, and the double horns based on the Willi Aebi system. Aebi wanted to keep the typical sound of the F horn and prevent a general change to the B horn side. His idea was a partially compensated double horn, which only allowed a change in the empty position and with the second valve. The first and third valves could only be used on the F-side.
In the Horns of classical music of the valve horn has until the beginning of the 20th century received the tradition even after the introduction, noting the Horn so that without General signs can be noted. This is derived from the fact that the composer was used to getting along with the natural tone - "reserve" of valveless horns. Unless otherwise stated, the notation (for all F- and / or B-flat horns) in both modern orchestral and wind orchestra literature is in F. However, general accidentals are always given in the wind orchestra.
An exception to the orchestral practice without general accidentals is the approach of Anton Bruckner, who - following the example of military and popular music - notated the horns almost entirely in keys. Only in the 8th and 9th symphonies did he do without it, but kept the keys of the Wagner tubas. Many Anglo-Saxon composers (Elgar, Britten) notated the F horns - and also the trumpets - often with the general accidentals. Around 1900 Richard Strauss was one of the last resolute advocates of the use of different horn tunings, as horn players were used to transposing and so many accidentals - for example, an excessive number of crosses in the often used horn in E - were avoided. The common practice at the time of Raff and Tchaikovsky was to notate in F only for horn.
In addition to the treble clef, the bass clef in F is also used for horn notation to avoid an excessive number of auxiliary lines. The sound is (with a horn in F) in both clefs a fifth lower than the notation. However, it should be noted, especially in literature from the Romantic period, that the so-called old bass clef was mostly used, in which the sound (in F) is a fourth higher than the notation. It must therefore always be checked carefully whether it is a new or old bass clef. This is best done by comparing voices, often in octaves, and estimating their position, which makes the most musical sense. Here is an example of the sound and notation in the old and new bass clef:
In the old brass orchestra, the notation is often in E -flat , as E-flat alto horns in French horn form were and are used there. When using a separate Eb tuning slide on the F French horn, please note that the three valve slides for intonation correction have to be corrected by pulling them out (see: Valve slide lengths and intonation problems of the valves (wind instruments) ).
A number of brass instruments are closely related to the horn in terms of their length. This group is summarized under the name of horn instruments .
A special form of the horn is the horn tube or Wagner tuba (also called Wagner tube ), which Richard Wagner said he had built around 1870 for the orchestra of the Nibelungenring . The Wagner tube is similar to the baritone, but has a narrower bore. Like the horn, it is gripped on the left and blown with a horn mouthpiece. The Wagner tuba is almost always used as a quartet (two tenor tubas in Bb and two bass tubers in F). Besides Wagner, other composers have also used the Wagner tubas in their compositions. For example Anton Bruckner in symphonies 7 , 8 and 9 , Richard Strauss in his Alpensinfonie and the operas Elektra and Die Frau ohne Schatten a tube quartet, and Igor Stravinsky in Le sacre du printemps two B-flat tubas.
Due to the conical length, the cornet and flugelhorn also belong to the horn instruments: Although they are mostly blown by trumpeters because of their high register , they reveal their relationship through their similarly soft and rounder sound.
Use in music
Most of the chamber music works with horn are written for the following ensembles:
- Brass quintet : 2 trumpets, horn, trombone, tuba
- Woodwind quintet : flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon
- Horn ensemble : three to sixteen horns
- Woodwind octet : 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 horns, 2 bassoons
The Horn Trio op. 40 by Johannes Brahms is considered a masterpiece of chamber music with French horn . The names horn trio, horn quartet and horn quintet are ambiguous. On the one hand, it refers to works that are only set with horns. However, chamber music works are also designated in this way where the horn has a leading solo part, for example the Horn Trio op.40 (horn, violin, piano) by Brahms, horn quartets by Giovanni Punto (horn, violin, viola, basso) and the horn quintet KV 407 (horn, violin, 2 violas, violoncello) by Wolfgang Amade Mozart.
The horn was used very differently depending on its stage of development and the era. The development ranges from signal calls (hunting motifs) in the Baroque (usually occurring in pairs, see Concerto grosso , Georg Philipp Telemann , Johann Sebastian Bach , Georg Friedrich Händel ) to the "sound-filling" romantic stylistic devices in the symphony, whereby the signal quality takes a back seat but the association with nature has remained.
In the symphony orchestra today, the horn players usually sit in a formation of four to the left (as seen from the audience) of the woodwinds, thus separating them from the “heavy brass” (trumpets, trombones, tuba). This is because, in terms of sound, the horn also belongs to the woodwind instruments, especially for some . Roughly speaking, the number of horns in the orchestra has also increased over time: in the classical period usually two ( Beethoven also used four in his last symphony ), in the romantic period three to four - even if only partly 2 horns until the later period were used (also in monumental works such as Liszt's dance of death). The use of three is not as common, e.g. B. in Beethoven's 3rd symphony or in Antonín Dvořák's cello concerto . In the late romantic period, their representatives, z. B. Anton Bruckner , Richard Wagner , Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss up to twelve horns under. In his Alpine Symphony, Richard Strauss even calls for eight horns (four of which are also Wagner tuba ) on stage and a further twelve behind the stage.
From the later 20th century the orchestras became smaller again and the line-up went back to the standard of four horns (in F). This is how many film music works - e.g. B. by John Williams , John Debney , or Harry Gregson-Williams - with four horns. Nevertheless, even partial (eg Disney. Here until six ice queen , and Disney's Enchanted ), eight (eg common in. Alan Silvestri , as Forrest Gump ) (common in, or even twelve horns John Powell - Ice Age from the 2nd part, Horton hears a whoop ) increased. Probably the greatest horn use in film music history took place in Bernard Herrmann's rejected score, for the Hitchcock epic The Torn Curtain , in which he attached an "armada" of 16 horns. Three horns are rarely found; z. B. in Alan Menkens Score for Beauty and the Beast . The original orchestration to Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera also has three horns.
Two horns, or even just one, are rarely found in film music, but are not uncommon in today's Broadway, TV or stage bands.
- Symphony No. 5 by Gustav Mahler , 3rd movement "Scherzo" (2nd section) The 1st horn (solo horn) of the six-piece horn group becomes the "corno obligato" (the 3rd horn takes the role of the 1st horn and the 5th horn) . that of the 3rd horn) and in this movement has a meaning that comes close to that in a solo concerto. The first motif is inaccordance witha scherzo with a light dance-like character, the second (middle) motif, which is in stark contrast to this, is held in a plaintive, screaming tone.
- Till Eulenspiegel's funny pranks by Richard Strauss : In the sixth bar one of the two "Eulenspiegel motifs" (the other is played by the clarinet ) is heard, which is characterized by a melody that has been shifted to the basic beat (the basic beat is veiled).
- Symphony No. 4 "Romantic" by Anton Bruckner; the horn takes over the introduction to the symphony and represents the hunting scenes in the third movement.
- Symphony from the New World by Antonín Dvořák ; In the fourth movement the first theme appears almost at the beginning, played by the horn.
- Symphony No. 5 by Peter Tschaikowsky , 2nd movement. After the introduction of the strings, the horn takes over the main theme of the movement
In trombone choirs , the French horn is the only instrument that is used in both the alto and tenor registers. The special timbre makes the overall sound of the choir appear fuller and rounder. However, the range of the French horn allows you to play the bass or even the deep bass range.
Horn players and literature
Related horn types
Important associations of horn players
- Bernhard Brüchle, Kurt Janetzky : Cultural history of the horn. A picture book. / A pictorial history of the horn. Schneider, Tutzing 1976, ISBN 3-7952-0179-9 (large illustrated book, text in German and English).
- Bernhard Brüchle, Daniel Lienhard: Horn Bibliography. 3 volumes (Vol. 2: Supplements to the 1970 edition. Vol. 3: Supplements to the 1970 and 1975 editions. ) Heinrichshofen, Wilhelmshaven et al. 1970–1983, ISBN 3-7959-0025-5 (Vol. 1), ISBN 3-7959-0146-4 (Vol. 2), ISBN 3-7959-0327-0 (Vol. 3).
- Philip Farkas : The Art of Brass. Approach principles. German by Peter Steidle. Hans Pizka, Kirchheim (Munich) 1980, ISBN 3-922409-03-2 .
- Kurt Janetzky: From the workshop of a horn player. Collected Essays. Edited by Michael Nagy. Vom Pasqualatihaus, Vienna 1993, ISBN 3-901254-01-3 .
- Kurt Janetzky, Bernhard Brüchle: The horn. A short chronicle of his development and work (= Our musical instruments. Vol. 6). Schott, Mainz et al. 1977, ISBN 3-7957-2344-2 (also: ibid 1984).
- Ernst Paul: The horn in its development from a natural to a valve instrument. Vienna 1932 (Vienna, Univ., Phil. Diss., 1932).
- Ernst Paul: The horn with Mozart. In: Viennese Figaro. Bulletin of the Mozart Community Vienna. 20. Vol. 3, 1951/2, , pp. 13-17.
- Ernst Paul: The horn of the Viennese sound style . In: Austrian music magazine. 24, Jg., Heft 12, 1969, , pp. 698-702 (reprinted in: The Horn Call. Vol. 3, No. 2, 1973, , pp. 29-32 ).
- Ernst Paul: The horn in Beethoven. In: Beethoven-Almanach. (= Publications of the Wiener Musikhochschule. Vol. 4) 1970, , pp. 80–90.
- Documentation by Gregor Widholm about the acoustic, tonal and technical characteristics of the Viennese horn
- International Horn Society (IHS )
- The Landesmusikrat Schleswig-Holstein and the Landesmusikrat Berlin choose the horn as Instrument of the Year 2015
- Vienna Symphonic Library. In: www.vsl.co.at. Retrieved November 22, 2016 .
- Vienna Symphonic Library. In: www.vsl.co.at. Retrieved November 22, 2016 .
- Andreas Dorschel: What does conservative mean in art? The Horn in the 19th Century and the Trio in E flat major op. 40 by Johannes Brahms: an aesthetic case study . In: Brahms Studies XIV (2005), pp. 55–66.
- The evangelical trombone choir work