Site Updates: A Fresher Look and New Resources for Study and Self-Improvement


Just like with horn playing, the fine-tuning process for the Horn Matters web site is an ongoing, long-term project.

We are always striving to broaden and improve our web site, and we are happy to announce that over the past few months a number of changes have been going on, including: a new look and feel, improvements in how the site runs, and major updates to the Resources area.

General improvements

As mentioned in previous articles, our platform is WordPress. Without a doubt it is a tremendously powerful tool to build a site on. I enjoy looking under the hood, getting my hands dirty with code and fine-tuning it into just what we need.

My motto in pruning things down has always been subtract until it breaks and over the past few months, hundreds of lines of code have been run through the wringer.

The pixel-perfect details are not really worth getting into here, but it is suffice to say that back-end of the Horn Matters web site has been significantly pruned and as a result, is humming along nicely.

Meanwhile on the front-end, regular site visitors may have noticed a significant number of aesthetic changes. These have been occurring in gradual stages over the past few months, including a new minimal look, and improvements to the navigation and side column areas.

More resources

The most recent stage of updates included some big improvements to our Resources area. The entire area has been worked over significantly, with several new areas having been added.

If you have not had a chance to look around, here is a brief overview of what is new and what is improved.

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Improved Archives area
To help users find what they are looking for, a Google-based search engine has been added to the Archives.

I am still working on using this engine to replace our existing search engine at top left, but for the time being the Google engine is excluded to the Archives area.

This Google engine does give some very different results for searches than our internal search, and so if you are looking for something specific on Horn Matters, this might be a good tool to use.

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In addition to our existing page of PDF resources, we have added two new pages devoted exclusively to solo and orchestral repertoire.

  • PDF Horn Solo Parts
    Standard solos for the horn from the 18th and 19th centuries that are available for download in 19th century, public domain editions.
  • PDF Orchestral Horn Parts
    A basic guide for advanced orchestral horn study at the college level with available parts for download in 19th century, public domain editions.

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University of Horn Matters
In line with John Ericson’s recent articles on pedagogy and repertoire, a new page has been created to house those articles in one place.

The University of Horn Matters (UHM) horn pedagogy and repertoire courses are presented free as a service to the horn playing community by Horn Matters. Some weeks will be of more interest than other weeks to individual readers so the complete course is outlined for readers to pick and choose topics.

This collection represents more than fifteen years of similar courses taught to horn performance majors at the college level. These comprehensive, hybrid courses open up the topics studied more completely than even the most ideally run live class.

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So, this about wraps it up for now. Myself, I am looking forward to John’s updates to our new UHM area. He will be updating it weekly in tandem with the courses as they are published.

If you have a comment on our recent updates or have a general idea to share, please feel free to drop me a note.

University of Horn Matters