the FRENCH HORN
- Who can play the French horn? Is there a recommended age, or can size or teeth be an issue?
- If it is not suitable for everyone, what alternative instrument would you recommend and why?
- What qualities of the French horn are special?
- Learning to play any instrument develops lots of new skills. What are the particular benefits of playing the French horn?
- How are French horns similar/different to other brass instruments?
- Are there any famous musicians or pieces associated with the French horn?
The French Horn is a tricky instrument! Players require their second teeth and strength to hold the instrument. Beginners often start on a 'mini' horn before progressing onto a full sized instrument.
Alternatives include the tenor horn or the baritone.
The French Horn is predominantly an orchestral instrument, though they are often played in wind bands too. The French Horn is used extensively in classical music as well as film scores.
Playing the French horn is:
Good for breathing and posture especially for those who suffer from asthma.
You can join lots of groups.
Playing encourages independent learning as well as working as part of a team.
The French Horn is a conical instrument and uses a funnel shaped mouthpiece. All the harmonics are closer together than any other brass instrument, so a good sense of pitch is essential.
There are several types of horn - mini, single, compensating, double, half double and more - it also has rotary valves. Your teacher can advise on suitability.
Dennis Brain, David Pyatt and Richard Strauss’s Horn Concerto.