French Horn...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by G-man-, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    I play both. I love the Horn. One word about the differences between the Horn and trumpet. Most of the above posts have already said it, but I just want to add this and that is that there is a tendency of trumpet players to pick up a Horn and impress themselves with what a tremendous range they can play in the horn. That is usually delusional. The upper range is there but what said trumpeters don't have a clue to is how to tame that range as real playable notes, accurate and with pure tone. Just avoid that pitfall.

    Regarding reading music and which horn to play, e.g. Bb, Eb or double horn, if you are planning on using the Horn only in a duet situation and reading Horn in F is not a given, then I see no reason why you can't simply get a Bb Horn. This means that you can play trumpet duets at will. It also means that you can save money by purchasing only a single Horn vs a more expensive double Horn. Or . . . you can purchase a better quality Horn (the Bb) for the same money than you could get by buying a double horn for the same money.

    FWIW in the US most kids with single horns start on Eb horns and that has a lot to do with how Americans read and use Eb and Bb sides when they get their double horns. From that one might assume that that is the preferred instrument for a single Horn. However, in Germany, they start on Bb horns, because the Bb Horn takes precedence when playing the double horn, so if you go with a single Bb, don't let anyone try to convince you that that is an unorthodox thing to be doing and disuade you from doing it. It is perfectly valid.

    The one thing that would hold be back me from getting a Bb Horn to play Bb duets with, would be that you are limiting the range of the Horn. Obviously, if you are playing duets written for 2 trumpets, you are only going to be playing down to an E Concert. The Horn can go much lower than that, and well-written duets for Trumpet and Horn would take that lower register of the Horn into account and, IMO, make the music more interesting. On the other hand, I'm not aware of a lot of duet literature for Horn and Trumpet (and piano) so you would need to research that.

    As far as playing the Horn, maybe I'm being redundant, but most of the above posts have said it. The embouchure must be exceptionally sensitive, much of your playing range is at the upper partials of overtone series, so the notes are "closer" together and it's easy to make any playing a "clam bake". You've got to have accuracy and T-O-N-E. But it's a wonderful instrument and well worth the effort.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  2. bachfella

    bachfella Mezzo Piano User

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    I played french horn in high school, starting when my band director picked me to play 2nd horn in our school's production of "Camelot" my sophomore year. He thought I played well enough that he switched me from trumpet to french horn in the school concert band the following year. I also played first-chair fourth horn in a band put together by New Castle County (DE) for 2 summers for the Bicentennial (1975-76), and played the instrument a handful of other times. It's a beautiful instrument, and I gave some thought to switching my major instrument in college from trumpet to french horn, but didn't do it because I felt I knew more about the trumpet, felt a tad more comfortable playing trumpet, and didn't think my french horn playing was as good as that of "real" french horn majors. I still love the instrument, and I do own a double horn, but I haven't played it in a long time. As far as my experience as a french horn "doubler" is concerned, sometimes my chops felt a bit weird on days when I played trumpet AND french horn, but otherwise, I did OK. I'm kinda tempted to pick up the french horn again, especially since it might help getting gigs!!
     
  3. G-man-

    G-man- New Friend

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    Nov 26, 2011

    Thanks for that. Perhaps I can clarify some more... I play in church. The work I will be doing is not music in bands and so forth. Music is a love I have and use in church. This means, my trumpet playing is done in Church, along side a piano etc playing from the Hymn Book. I automatically transpose the notes in my head by adding 2# and reading all the notes as though they are one line/space above where it is written. The time I would be duet-ting would be again, in the church. This means there is someone there playing the Piano, I would play either the Alto or the Melody notes on treble cleff of a certain Hymn or song we chose and my wife would be playing the Harmony to back my melody. Also we could be more creative where as an eg: She plays 1 entire verse of Amazing grace with that warm sound of the 'cornet', then 2nd verse I would come in a s she backs off with the trumpet, giving the listener a 'wow' moment as everything just brightens up, and then final verse she would harmonize me with Alto while I play Soprano (melody). This would be the case for everything we choose to play, we would make it interesting. So to find horn/trumpet notes is totally non relevant for our situation as we would take a song we want and play the notes that are there OR think of something...

    This is where I was wondering what sound would work better with the trumpet, the Horn or the Cornet. Also, if I decide I want to play Horn and she is stuck on Cornet, would Horn/Cornet work better given they are both 'warm' sounding rather than trumpet/cornet?

    This is simply as said what we do because we love music, it is not something we get paid for, nor will we be playing who knows where with who knows who where they got an idea we need to follow, this is just us 2 probably playing from church-church showing the talent we got and enjoying the music while blessing the listeners. So in this situation anything would work, even Sax/Trumpet, Flute/Bassoon etc, it really does not matter what we use in terms of 'needed'. I was more or less wanting to know what would sound/compliment better

    Trumpet/Cornet
    Trumpet/French Horn
    French Horn/Cornet

    Btw - Cornet can play Tenor and Bass (church hymns)? Could the Horn also play the Alto?

    This is where I see its versatility as a trumpet cant play the Bass and to play Tenor, would be a 'high' tenor.

    Also I have seen on youtube french horn going as high as a trumpet in terms of range (Double C), but does it even have notes up there that are playable or is that like trumpet playing pedal tones meaning, unusable?

    I would never pick a horn up and play 'high' if there is a certain range it is designed for, as it would sound stupid beyond its 'real' range.

    Would anyone have any videos anywhere or recordings of Horn/Trumpet playing either church music or classical music together?
    And also of trumpet/cornet?

    We want to buy something and this indecisiveness sucks. Would really appreciate being able to hear horn/trumpet together and cornet/trumpet. Nothing is better than personally hearing it.

    1 more thing... I noticed some french horn players get a really bright sound out of the horn (trumpet like) while others its very throaty/woolly sounding. Is that based on how you play and both sounds can be gotten out of the 1 horn or are they 2 different type of french horns to achieve that?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn_vXRoe1mg

    Listen to that, thats bright as. Also, at 45-50sec... that really high note... is that a trumpet or a french horn is capable of that?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  4. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    I am always grateful for a lot of specific information. Too often it's been my experience that someone asks a question and then forum members spend a lot of time throughout a thread unraveling what the OP really meant. So thanks for that. OTOH, I might loose my place because of my eyesight, so bear with me.

    First off the easy answer (with a question). Are you sure you're not over complicating this? The music you are playing is pretty simple and what the listeners are hearing is not going to make a significant difference between a cornet or Horn, IMO. Sure, they sound different, but is it really worth it to go the expense of buying a Horn plus learning how to adjust your playing it, for the subtle results you are going to get? I think you might really want to revisit this.

    Now, assuming your answer is "yes" here are some thoughts.

    I automatically transpose the notes in my head ...
    I would play either the Alto or the Melody notes on treble cleff of a certain Hymn or song we chose and my wife would be playing the Harmony to back my melody.
    Also we could be more creative where as an eg: She plays 1 entire verse . . . then 2nd verse I would come in as she backs off with the trumpet, giving the listener a 'wow' moment as everything just brightens up,. . . etc.

    Problem #1. Switching to Horn from trumpet during the same tune. Considering it's just a hymn, it should not be difficult, but you need to be prepared for the difference in feel in the embouchure. You would have an immediate adjustment, "on the fly" to make. Not that it can't be done, but you are increasing you margin of error.

    This is where I was wondering what sound would work better with the trumpet, the Horn or the Cornet. Also, if I decide I want to play Horn and she is stuck on Cornet, would Horn/Cornet work better given they are both 'warm' sounding rather than trumpet/cornet?
    Well, that's just what effect you want. Also, keep in mind, if you are switching to Horn and staying on a part higher than your wife's, you are playing in an upper tessitura of the Horn and it's not going to sound as mellow as you are thinking.

    Btw - Cornet can play Tenor and Bass (church hymns)?
    Up an octave, yeah.

    Could the Horn also play the Alto?
    Sure

    Also I have seen on youtube french horn going as high as a trumpet in terms of range (Double C), but does it even have notes up there that are playable or is that like trumpet playing pedal tones meaning, unusable?
    Does, "I have seen on youtube" mean "you have heard'? If so, did you like what you heard? Would you use that register in a musical context? I don't understand how your question relates to your post about you and your wife playing Horn and cornet/trumpet on hymns.

    Would anyone have any videos anywhere or recordings of Horn/Trumpet playing either church music or classical music together?
    And also of trumpet/cornet?

    Not me, sorry.

    We want to buy something and this indecisiveness sucks. Would really appreciate being able to hear horn/trumpet together and cornet/trumpet. Nothing is better than personally hearing it.
    Isn't there one Horn player affiliated with your church or a community orchestra or school band that you could grab to play with yourself and your wife and try out the various configurations you are interested in hearing? Surely this isn't as hard as you are making it. ;-)

    1 more thing... I noticed some french horn players get a really bright sound out of the horn (trumpet like) while others its very throaty/woolly sounding. Is that based on how you play and both sounds can be gotten out of the 1 horn or are they 2 different type of french horns to achieve that? BRASS - Vienna Horns Back to the Future - YouTube Listen to that, thats bright as. Also, at 45-50sec... that really high note... is that a trumpet or a french horn is capable of that?
    It's just like with just about any wind instrument, you can colour your sound with a mental image of the sound you want, with voicing, and other mental/physical attributes of playing.

    Now - to the YouTube example you gave. Didn't you notice a couple of things fishy about those Horns? The big circular tubing near the mouthpiece end of the tubing? No levers where the fingers push the "valves" down? No rotary valves? Those are Wienerhörner, or Vienna Horns (or Pumpenhörner). They are unique critteres used in Austria, particularly in Vienna. They are not conventional double horns but are pitched in Eb but they play differently than conventional single Eb horns. They have a wonderful sound. What you are hearing is the brassy sound they get when they get in their upper registers. But as a trumpet player surely you have heard this phenomenon as applied to other brass instruments, too, and that is, that as they go higher, the brighter they become.
     
  5. G-man-

    G-man- New Friend

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    I played guitar all my life. I am new to brass.

    I just noticed the french horn play very woolly even up high and then I hear other stuff (horns again) that play really brassy/bright. So that is to do with how it is played?

    I also noticed that with Cornets, some sound almost fluglehorn like while others sound so bright I think it is a trumpet then realize the kink in the pipe at the back and go "o it is a cornet". Not sure if that is 2 'different' style cornets to make such a vast difference or how it is played, I would assume different cornet to achieve that as I cant see the way it is played to change that drastically.

    I was not saying for me to change from trumpet/horn in one song... what I meant was, Wife playing (either horn/cornet) one verse, which is mellow and then her backing off as I come in on the trumpet.

    I still love my trumpet, I love playing the melody notes as it sings. I spent some time looking at a lot of french horn stuff and listening to it, mozart, bach, and whatever else i could find soloing... I love the sound, I love the sound, I like the sound, Sounds fair enough, blah. What I mean by that is that the woolly sound to me is beautiful but I quickly miss the clarity that is so needed for really beautiful melody. So for me, I am staying on trumpet. I know if I decided to stop trumpet and play horn, after few months I would miss that bright sound that flies over the top.

    So because I play trumpet, I wondered what would work better with it, Cornet (warm sounding but high) or the Horn (warm sounding but deep)... I know with COrnet she could then always try stuff like Piccolo trumpet, the trumpet itself, or even step one more mellow step back and go fluglehorn. So there is stuff available to juggle around for a 'more better' sounding 'duet' if you will (or at least more options down the road). Horn on other hand, that is it, there is nothing else.

    Perhaps I answered my own question. For dueting, the cornet would probably work the best because its in the same voice register as the trumpet and thus the harmony etc are 'close' to each other rather than spread apart by at least 1 octave.

    I just moved up to brisbane queensland here in australia and i would not have a CLUE where anyone plays any of this stuff where we could go and hear them sample us a cornet/horn , trumpet/horn etc. That would be ideal... WHERE?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  6. entrancing1

    entrancing1 Mezzo Piano User

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    Buffalo, NY
    I play horn, husband plays, trumpet, cornet, flugel and picc. We have done duets together with horn and trumpet, I picked up a cornet and learned to play it well enough to play some hymns with it. Cornet and trumpet sounded better (to my ears) than horn and trumpet.

    Do you really think the congregation is sophisticated enough to notice the difference between the timbre of cornet and trumpet?
     
  7. G-man-

    G-man- New Friend

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    Hey thanks for that.

    No they are not, the problem is not them but me. When I play I 'listen' to the music as though it is someone else playing as I love music.

    Would you have any recording or able to roughly produce something with Horn/Trump and then Corn/Trump (hymn) with your husband?

    That would be more than much appreciated.
     

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