IT’S NOT FRENCH
Yes it’s true. The French Horn is not French. In 1971 the International Horn Society stated that ‘Horn’ should be the recognised name for this instrument, (in English.) However, it never caught on and to this day the instrument is most commonly called the French Horn. Be this as it may, ‘Horn’ is more accepted among professional players.
In reality the French Horn is German! The instrument dates back to at least the 1600s. At this time it was far simpler in design: Made from a single tube with a mouthpiece and flared bell. It had no valves and changes in pitch and tone were done by the musicians changing how they blew through the mouthpiece. It wasn’t until the 1800s valves and more tubing were introduced to improve sound.
The tubing of the horn is wrapped in a tight coil, finishing with a flared bell. It all looks rather compact and tidy.
BUT, did you know if you unwrapped the horn the tubing would be 20 feet long!? That’s about the same height as an adult Giraffe.
It’s more popular that you realise
Have a listen to the sound track of your favourite films. If an Orchestra plays it’s almost a certainty there will be a French Horn feature. (This goes up to 100% certainty if the music was written by John Williams!)
If you’ve ever watched – E.T – Indiana Jones – Jurassic Park – Harry Potter – Star Trek II – Rockey III – Robin Hood – then you will have been treated to a great French Horn feature.
And of-course Lord of the Rings: