French Horns.....

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Getzonica, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    This question has been bothering me for ages....

    Is it me, or is the fingering used to play the notes on a French horn different from the fingering used to play notes on cornets etc?
  2. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member


    The French Horn has three, four or five valves but most commonly four. These are known as Single (three valves) Double (four) or Triple(five).

    They play in a different range to all other brass instruments and so they use different combinations to combat tuning issues in those partials.

    You can use the same combinations as a cornet, but the tuning wouldn't be brilliant.
  3. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member it wasn't me going mad
  4. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    On the F side the fingering is the same as a cornet an octave higher - ie. c-d-e-f written starting below the stave are played 0 - 1 - 0 - 1.
    Using the Bb side the same fingering applies from an f written in the bottom space of the stave.
  5. Independent Silver Band

    Independent Silver Band Active Member

    On the single "F" ;
    low C= open as it is on the cornet.
    D= 1st. Valve
    E (first line) =open
    G= open
    A= 1 & 2 preferred, but can be played open.
    C= Open
    next 8va is as the cornet BUT the entire scale from third space "C" can be played open.

    More info than you asked for and it get's more complicated with the double.
    For my school kidsI ustart them on single Bb's, and all of the fingerings are different.

    Now aren't you sorry you asked?
  6. BariPower

    BariPower Member

    You forgot to mention with the harmonics are so close together heading into the upper register its a real pain to pitch!!
  7. Independent Silver Band

    Independent Silver Band Active Member

    True. That is the reason for the use of the double, but the question was the difference in the fingering, and that is what I was trying to address.

    In this country the tenor horn, or alto as we call it is seldom used in concert situations, and finding students with an ear fine enough to play a single F is simetimes quite a challenge.
  8. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    I auditioned for the Women's Royal Army Corps Band hoping to get a place on cornet, but there were no vacancies. They asked me to bring a cornet and tenor horn, then gave me a french horn to play a couple of scales on..... NIGHTMARE!!! First 3 or 4 notes were alright then it went badly awry!!! Couldn't pitch or anything, especially with the harmonics being so close... :oops:
  9. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    That's why you need to stick your hand up the bell ... to help get it in tune! :cool:
  10. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    The problem is, to play french horn, you have to have a sense of key, musicality and tone.....unfortunately, tenor horn is in Eb and that is the only key that exists...............
  11. Independent Silver Band

    Independent Silver Band Active Member

    How do you make a trombone sound like a french horn?
    Put your hand in the bell and play wrong notes.

    I know- I have already used that one, but I don't know many jokes.

    Actually, I know another French horn joke, but John will take it out.
  12. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

  13. mbutchers

    mbutchers New Member

    @Independent Silver band:

    That's not the joke that refers to the way the french horn player holds the girl when he kisses her is it?!
  14. MrsDoyle

    MrsDoyle Supporting Member

    hand position.... ahh!
    *smiles with glee*
  15. Independent Silver Band

    Independent Silver Band Active Member

    That is the very one.
  16. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    Of course having the hand in the bell remains from the time of the valveless horn when hand stopping was used to produce the notes that weren't in the harmonic series.
    When the valves are played with the left hand THAT is a right handed horn - because it's the hand in the bell that counts.
  17. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    It was a very steep learning curve I had to climb when I had to take up french horn (from scratch) at music college years back ... no syllabus for tenor horn during the late '70s! The main reason for the fingering being up an octave is simply the length of tubing (... and not forgetting the use of enharmonics and triggers as well!). I never had the opportunity to try a natural horn.
  18. BoBo

    BoBo Member

    The fingering as others have pointed out is not really different from brass band instruments once you realise that you are playing on higher harmonics due to the length of the instrument. The 4th valve works on the same principle as that on a euphonium, bass etc. though typically it is taking you to a higher pitch rather than lower pitch. So no more complicated than any other4 valve instrument really, just an absolute pig to play on account of the pitching insecurity. Great sound though when in the right hands.
  19. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    Wel actually I have an even more confusing question about them too.....but I don't know how to phrase it.....
  20. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ... what, in particular, does it refer to?