Random Monday: Horns for Sale, That’s Entertainment and What’s Popular


classictrain1.jpgMore evidence on the benefits of musical training
Recent research from a study in Germany indicates that musical training can help children use words.

The results of an 18-month study suggest “a positive transfer effect from musical expertise onto speech and language processing,” writes a research team led by Ingo Roden of Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg, Germany.

In the journal Frontiers in Psychology, the researchers note that no similar effect was found for kids taking an enriched academic curriculum.


Accusations of xenophobia
Iconoclast Norman Lebrecht gets introspective while watching the recent New Year’s concert from Vienna.

Made up of peer-picked players from the Vienna State Opera, the Philharmonic was the last orchestra in the world to admit women, maintaining an all-male membership until as recently as February, 1997.

Today, it still has the fewest female musicians of any major classical ensemble. It has given any number of excuses for practicing discrimination, from claiming that women with babies would not be suitable for long overseas tours, to arguing that they would destabilize its singular sound.


Of pearls and swine
At The Yard, the ‘YardMaster’ waxes poetically on the last day of 2012.

What we have to offer as polished, committed, and vulnerable artists is something truly special. We pull hair across strings and spit into tubes, and an audience feels our breath and bodies as we turn pieces of wood and metal into something that words can’t describe.

These are our pearls. Every day we must strive to hone our skills, not in the pursuit of mastering an objective and technical craft, but to better express ourselves through our instruments and through music


On the value of entertainment
At Being Musical. Being Human a rational argument is made for taking music a bit more seriously in terms of its value.

… as music teachers and arts advocates, we need to take forth the message thatmusic is not just entertainment. I certainly agree with this point, and support efforts to make it better known to school administrators, parents, and student musicians themselves.

But I also believe we need to be careful how we go about refuting the perspective of “music as mere entertainment.” We can stray from the true nature of the arts when justify music’s place in schools through its contributions to other skills like abstract reasoning, language acquisition, math proficiency, self-discipline, and spatial intelligence.


The balancing act
Jennifer Borkowski speaks in this interesting video on over-training in students. Her discussion centers around how teachers can look for key signs to see if their students have hit a mental or physical block.

The purpose of scientific study
Put in perspective, I can always appreciate scientific studies on the mechanics of wind and brass performance. In this regard I can also appreciate Dave Wilken and his efforts to stay on top of current research.

Whenever a someone publishes something like this [a study] there are always some in the community who will call such research meaningless, but I think it’s neat to take a scientific look at what we think we know. One of the neat things about research is sometimes we learn something new that’s completely unrelated to the original purpose of the research.

For example, when Lloyd Leno first began his high speed filming of trombone embouchures he was doing so to see if the lips vibrated at the same frequency of the pitch (he found they do, by the way). Along the way he was surprised that while most of his subjects had downstream embouchures, one was upstream.


What’s popular?

Here are some of the most visited and popular pages at Horn Matters, dating from July 1, 2012 to today.

  1. Horn Matters Classified Ads
  2. Playing Tips
  3. The Vintage Conn 8D
  4. Choosing a French Horn Mouthpiece (I): The Basic Parts
  5. PDF Documents & Research
  6. A Fingering Chart for Single F, Double, and Single B-flat Horns
  7. PDF Orchestral Horn Parts
  8. Setting Goals: 3 Tips for ‘Keeping it Real’
  9. Choosing a French Horn Mouthpiece (III): Weight, Plating and Shopping Tips
  10. Choosing a French Horn Mouthpiece (II): Cup, Throat and Bore
  11. Archives
  12. The Value of a Professional Instrument Cleaning
  13. Horn-related Events
  14. PDF Horn Solo Parts
  15. From the Mailbag: Kruspe or Geyer–Which is Better?
  16. About John Ericson
  17. Horn Pedagogy Week 1: Choosing the Mouthpiece and Horn
  18. The Mind of the Horn Player
  19. Online Practice Tools
  20. Giardinelli Horn Mouthpieces Through the Ages
  21. On Defensive Hornists and Accuracy
  22. PDF Exercises & Technical Studies
  23. How to use a Sink Hose Adapter to Clean a Horn
  24. Thoughts on ‘Quality’ and an Overview of Trusted Brands in French Horns
  25. The Best Music Schools
  26. Buying a Horn II: What I Bought
  27. Get a Grip for Better Comfort
  28. Transposition Tricks: Bass Clef
  29. Internet Memes: What if Action Mega-Star Chuck Norris played French Horn?
  30. Review: The ‘PowerLung’ Breathing Device
  31. Hornmasters: Farkas on Mouthpieces
  32. Horn Pedagogy Week 4: Embouchure Overview
  33. About Bruce Hembd
  34. Symmetry and Balance: 3 Reasons to Not Worry about an Off-Center Embouchure
  35. Horn Pedagogy Week 2: Descant and Triple horns, Mellophones, Care and Maintenance of the Horn, and Left Hand Position
  36. About Horn Matters
  37. University of Horn Matters
  38. Horn Pedagogy Week 13: Lip Trills, and Muting and Stopping the Horn
  39. Four Tips for Getting Back in Shape after Taking a Break
  40. Transposition Tricks: Old vs. New Notation

Random videos

A live performance of the Beatle’s For No One, complete with a walk-on horn solo.

* * *

Witness the robotic machining process of a Wedge French horn mouthpiece.

* * *

Probably not a great idea to imitate this stunt.

* * *

Yes, the holiday season has already passed but this is just too cute…

* * *

University of Horn Matters