Horn Pedagogy Week 1: Choosing the Mouthpiece and Horn

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The first topic of this course is choosing the mouthpiece and horn. There are a number of readings this week, but most of them are short. First up is this series of articles from the Hornmasters series:

If you start at the first of those articles there will always be links to the next article in the readings.

There will also be readings from the Horn Articles Online website. First we have the following article to review several of the topics covered in the readings above,

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and also review briefly the topic of “Geyer or Kruspe” here:

The drawing of a mouthpiece is from another article by Bruce Hembd on choosing a French horn mouthpiece that is also highly worthy of review, along with any link of interest there. Equipment is a big topic and one that could be examined at great length as there are so many variables and thousandths of an inch really do matter. Some questions to consider in relation to the readings include:

  • What were the typical setups used in the USA in the 1950s?
  • What are typical setups today in the USA? Worldwide?
  • What would be a good setup for an average student or amateur today?
  • Are people who advocate for the single F horn for beginners stuck in the 1950s?
  • What are the advantages of a thick rim? A thin rim? A gold rim?
  • Which of the numbers and letters of mouthpiece models are arbitrary, and which actually relate to physical dimensions?

There will be yet more related to equipment to study and talk out next week when we get to descant and triple horns and more!

This is week 1 of a fourteen week course in horn pedagogy. The introductory article is here, and the series is presented for the educational purposes of our readers.