The Pottag Preparatory Melodies [Update: with related PDF download]


One classic publication I have come back to recently is Preparatory Melodies to Solo Work for French Horn edited by Max P. Pottag. This is a great publication for the moderately advanced student–melodic, short, with some challenges–and I have recently come back to it in my personal practice. It was a book my first major teacher used, Melbern Nixon. Copyrighted in 1941, it is widely available today and inexpensive, Amazon has it here for example.

I remember being puzzled by the line on the cover where it states they are “Selected from the Famous SCHANTL Collection.” Famous Schatl collection?

In my Doctoral research I did actually sort out the source. The etudes are by the Viennese hornist Josef Schantl (1842-1902) and were published in volume III of his four volume Grosse theoritisch-praktisch Horn-Schule (Heilbronn: C. F. Schmidt, 1903). Milan Yancich reprinted volume III as 120 Melodic Pieces Without Accompaniment. He also reprinted volume I as Etudes for the Natural Horn,  volume II as Grand Theoretical and Practical Method for the Valve Horn, and vol. IV as Kopprasch, 90 Etudes (this is actually a mixture of Kopprasch and others, as described in this article).

The 98 etudes selected (out of 120) by Pottag from Schantl volume III remain a great, practical collection. For those interested in seeing the original publication I do recommend the Yancich version, but for modern teaching purposes I would recommend the Pottag version as a great, practical publication. These etudes were published posthumously; I like to think these were favorites of his students, and these wonderful etudes clearly reflect his expertise and experience as a teacher.

UPDATE: As noted above, Pottag selected just 98 melodies from the original Schantl collection of 120 melodies. Which brings us to the following PDF, which contains the remaining 22 etudes not included in the Pottag version. Some of these I selected and included in my earlier publication Ultimate Horn Technique (Horn Notes Edition), but all of them are found here in their original edition.

  • 22 Melodic Etudes by Josef Schantl

UPDATE II: That publication is no longer online as a free download. But no worries, now I have included these 22 etudes in a new E-publication, described here.

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