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This week we have a variety of topics to cover, generally related to solo performance and orchestral playing. As to the orchestral side of it, the first reading is from Horn Articles Online:
After you read that, move on to the Hornmasters series for the following articles:
- Endurance, Part I
- Endurance, Part II
- Playing Soft Dynamics
- Playing Loud Dynamics
- Mouthpiece Pressure, Part I: Farkas, Fox, and Berv
- Mouthpiece Pressure, Part II: Cousins and Wekre
- Mouthpiece Pressure, Part III: Yet More
There are many good points in the above readings, but to highlight one angle on the topics of the week, overall I think students often worry about mouthpiece pressure too much. As is noted in the last article above,
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…some mouthpiece pressure is certainly appropriate. Speaking personally, my embouchure formation with my heavy lips seems to require more mouthpiece pressure than that seen is some of the descriptions above. Where you fit in the spectrum of mouthpiece pressure will become clear as you above all listen and look for the very best sound.
As with so many topics of horn playing, there is a personal side to the approach to each of the topics this week and each person will have, of necessity, a slightly different approach. Yours may line up exactly with the views of a horn guru, but it is more likely to ultimately be a hybrid approach developed over many years.
Next week the main topic is a favorite (?) of all horn players, accuracy.
This is week 11 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.