Recently we had coverage on Horn Matters of a video of a presentation by Dr. Peter Iltis on embouchure dystonia. Iltis it turns out is not only a hornist and a Professor of Kinesiology but also an inventor! During the 1990s he had out a product called the Dämpfer Mitt. It went off the market, but in early 2011, due to continued requests over the years, he found a new manufacturer and upgraded this classic product, which I was able to test recently for this review.
I had a student some years back that had the original version of this product, and she liked it. The Dämpfer Mitt is it is a mute holder that straps onto your chair to allow for very fast and quiet mute changes. It will hold two mutes “at the ready” so to speak and also comes with a carrying case for the mutes and accessories. This photo of the current version is taken from their website, where you can find much more information on the product.
In short, if you don’t like hanging mutes on your wrist when you play to make fast mute changes (which I certainly dislike) in orchestral and chamber music situations this is the product for you! It is well made and should certainly last through a lifetime of horn playing. As they note in their site, besides the advantages for transportation and security in performance, kicking over your mutes would also be a thing of the past with a Dämpfer Mitt.
We at Horn Matters welcome the Dämpfer Mitt back on the market, a product that will certainly appeal to many hornists.