A Horn Right Hand Position Survey


A great new resource has been posted in The IHS Online, “Two Surveys of European Horn Playing Styles.” What you will find there are two different surveys of major European horn players, the first done in 1964-65 by Pete Exline and the second done this past year by Dan Phillips. Both include photos and recordings of the major players included.

There is a lot to take in there, you could easily spend a couple hours poking around if you are an IHS member, but among the consistent things seen player to player in the part of this resource that can be accessed by anyone is there is always a photo of the right hand position used.

Those images jogged my memory to again dig out this big folder. This is all the raw data of a survey done by my ASU predecessor Ralph Lockwood in 1982. It is a survey on hand position (and more!) and was sent out with the specific note that the results would be compiled into an article in The Horn Call—but the results were in fact never published [See UPDATE II] or even completely compiled so far as I can tell. Over 100 players responded, a number of them being big name players we would all recognize today.

As the permission granted by the respondents was to use the survey data to develop an article for The Horn Call I won’t be publishing the results in Horn Matters but if you want to do your own mini-version of this same general idea check out the Exline and Phillips survey in The IHS Online and focus in on the photos of right hand positions. The positions used by these players are surprisingly variable, especially back in 1965.

Congratulations to Dan Phillips and Pete Exline for their efforts to create this extremely valuable resource, and perhaps at some point I will do more with the Lockwood survey of right hand positions as well.

UPDATE: Continue to this article (in two parts) to see brief notes on the results of the 1982 Lockwood survey, articles presented as a prelude to my presentation on the same topic at the 2013 IHS International Horn Symposium.

UPDATE II: And for a much fuller look at the results see the May, 2015 issue of The Horn Call, pages 50-55.

University of Horn Matters