The French Horn- It’s not even French!




Yes it’s true. The French horn is actually not French. In 1971 the International Horn Society stated that “horn” should be the recognised name for the instrument in the English language.

However this never caught on and still to this day the instrument is commonly known as the French horn. The name “horn” is more accepted among professional players.






The French horn is infact German! The instrument dates back to at least the 1600s. Back then it was much simpler in design. It was just a circular horn made from a single tube with a mouthpiece and flared bell.

The French horn was mostly commonly used for hunting to help organise the hunters and point them in the right direction of the hunted animal.

Originally the French horn included no valves and changes in pitch and tone were done by the musician themselves. This was done by changing how they blew through the mouthpiece. In the 19th century valves and more tubing were introduced to improve sound.


What it’s Made From


images (7)The French horn is a brass instrument made from metal. The instrument is made from tubing that is wrapped into a coil with a flared bell. Did you know if you unwrapped a French horn the tubing would be 20 feet long?

The main tubing is 12-13 feet long. Add the additional length of the bell and you have 20 feet of tubing.



Famous French Horn Players




Dennis Brain




Philip Farkas


Phillip Farkas







Barry Tuckwell






Dale Clevenger







The Strangest French Horn




The Wagner tuba is one of the strangest types of French horn. It’s not a tuba, infact it’s a horn with a vertical bell that has a larger bell throat. It looks a bit like a tuba that has been stretched up, I didn’t stretch the picture honest.




About the author

Georgia was with Normans on a years placement from Nottingham Trent University where she was studying Information Systems.




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