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french horn


Aerophone | Wind | Brass

The horn has descended from ancient history when animal horns were first used as musical instruments. Their powerful sound could travel several hundred metres and warned villagers of approaching danger. All the brass instruments have evolved from this early use of the animal horn.


If the modern French Horn was to be straightened it would be 6 metres long! To facilitate a more portable instrument the tubing loops several times, finishing with the widening of the bell section which points behind the player.


The modern French Horn is predominantly an orchestral instrument and it is used to great effect in many film scores. Mozart composed four horn concertos which have become standard repertoire for the horn student.


Listen to the
French Horn

Notable examples of French Horn recordings, click on > for YouTube:


Classical Orchestra

  • Tchaikovsky 5th Symphony, 2nd movement (after 45 seconds) >

  • Brahms 1st Symphony, Finale >

  • Don Juan, Richard Strauss >

Film Scores


Classical Solo

  • Mozart Horn Concerto No. 4 >
    (3rd movement Rondo)

  • Richard Strauss Horn Concerto No. 3 >
    (3rd movement)

Brass Ensemble

  • España for 21 horns (arranged Richard Bissill) >

  • Caravan for Horn Ensemble >
    (arranged Richard Bissill)

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