Random Monday: Placebo Domingo, Horns on Fire and Killer Queen

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Another example of a placebo effect
Last Friday I noted a few personal examples of how a placebo can effect one’s horn playing.

In hindsight, here is another example to think about. Sometimes just believing something can make it a reality. Fans of Star Wars will appreciate the Force metaphors.

Going for a world record
The Royal Opera House and the British Horn Society are teaming up to attempt a new record – the largest number of French horns gathered together at a single event. The event is scheduled for Sunday October 23, 2011.

A new William Vacchiano web site
Trumpet players will already know this name but for the benefit of horn players that might not know who William Vacchiano was there is now a terrific web site and book that provides all the details.

Lemons from lemonade
From a player than knows a thing or two about lemonade.

Are you angry or depressed that society doesn’t seem to care about classical music, and that you are underemployed in music? Then be constructive and start doing something about it. Practice your tail off and get a better job, schedule a solo recital, take some classes, or find a hobby or a side job to keep you busier. Even if failure is a possible outcome, at least you’re bettering yourself, moving forward and trying something new. Anything to keep your mind off of the negative is valuable, because dwelling on the negative is poisonous in so many ways.

(More.)

Teen fiction review

Elsie Wyatt is a born French horn player, just like her father and her grandfather before her. In order to qualify for the prestigious summer music camp of her dreams, she must expand her musical horizons and join – gasp! – the marching band. There are no French horns in marching band (what the heck is a mellophone??), but there are some cute boys. And marching band is very different from orchestra: they march, they chant, they . . . cluck? Elsie is not so sure she’ll survive, but the new friends she’s making and the actual fun she’s having will force her to question her dad’s expectations and her own musical priorities.

(More about Notes from an Accidental Band Geek.)

In memoriam
A follow-up to a tragic incident.

Howell, of Charlotte, N.C., was 20 when he slipped and fell from the roof of his three-story home in Clifton Heights while admiring the view of the city against the night sky. He had just started his junior year and was a gifted member of the French horn studio of Randy Gardner, professor of horn and chair of winds and percussion.

(More.)

Writing a bio
At one time or another it may be necessary to have a personal biography ready for a music program. Myself, I keep three versions handy – short, medium and long – for any occasion.

The goose and gander
In analyzing asymmetrical mouthpiece design, David Wilken once again makes very logical arguments that one size does not fit all when it comes to embouchure. I know of at least one horn player from my past experiences who had a special mouthpiece designed to accommodate his lower jaw under-bite.

Horn and harp concert
I love the name of this ensemble – the Apple Orange Pair.

Random videos

A killer guitar solo from a Queen song, played on French horn by Chris Castellanos.

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A new video and arrangement from Marc Papeghin.

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This beats Snakes on a Plane any day.

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Jacques-François Gallay, `Mélodie No. 10′, from 18 Mélodies élégantes et originales Op. 53, c 1840, played by Christopher Larkin.

This is just one video in a fascinating collection of historical and period instruments on the EUCMI YouTube channel.

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A hose horn demonstration.

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University of Horn Matters