Natural Horn

The natural horn, long used for hunting signals, found a distinctive role in orchestral and band music in the 18th century. A natural brass instrument is limited to specific notes and to enable the instrument to play in a variety of tonalities, changeable of different lengths were supplied. The are extra lengths of tubing that lower the pitch of the horn. An orchestral hand-horn with its many can be seen in the photo below.

Players of the hand-horn placed a hand into the bell . By inserting their hand the player could play a wider selection of notes than was possible on the natural horn. This formed the basis of the hand-horn tradition, used during a period when the horn became popular as a solo instrument and entered the orchestra.

A modern horn uses valves , which changes the length of the instrument when different valves are pressed. Modern horn players also put their hands in the bell , but today this is done to tune the instrument and for making different sound effects.

Can hear the difference in tone when the hand position is changed in the video?

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