horn family

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horn family. Brass instr. The modern hn. is an intricately coiled tube of over 11′; it is of 1/2″ bore at one end but widens gradually until it terminates in a large bell of 11″–14″ diameter: the mouth-piece is funnel-shaped. All these details differentiate it from the trumpet. The principle on which the notes are obtained is that of all brass instr.

There are 2 main forms of the hn.: the natural horn and the valve horn. The natural horn is restricted, at any given moment, to one pitch of the harmonic series; the valve horn can at will be switched from the harmonic series at one pitch to that of another, so making any note of the chromatic scale instantaneously available. Its technique is more difficult to acquire than that of any other instr. in the orch.

The basset-horn and cor anglais are not horns but reed instruments.

See French horn.