Horn Pedagogy Week 2: Descant and Triple horns, Mellophones, Care and Maintenance of the Horn, and Left Hand Position


As we saw in week one, equipment is a big topic and one that could be easily expanded into a discussion that covers an entire semester. And that discussion continues this week, with several related topics. We only have time to scratch the surface really, but do note that while only briefly introduced at this time in the context of an overall equipment discussion, the actual use of descant and triple horns will be covered in more depth in the repertoire class in the spring semester.

This week we have a lot of ground to cover with more reading than average for this course. Budget time accordingly! First up are three introductory readings from Horn Articles Online.

Which are followed by these readings in the Hornmasters series, which move from equipment into the topic of left hand position on the horn.

As you read these come questions to consider include,

  • Anything in common between mellophones, descant, and triple horns?
  • Why might you use different types of oil in different places on your valves?
  • Bell on or off the leg? Is either way “better?”
  • What about dimes and straps?
  • Any newer methods to promote a more ergonomic way to hold the horn not covered in the readings?

Speaking of dimes and straps, brief articles on those topics may be found here:

One other topic that came up in discussion was that of descant and triple horn mouthpieces or why you might use something different than normal for high notes. I have a two part series to at least skim as a closer for this week:

Next week we continue into the related topics of right hand position, fingering choices, and intonation.

Continue to Week 3

This is week 2 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.

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