A number of memes have been posted on Horn Matters over the years but the one posted last weekend on Facebok by Bruce Hembd touched a nerve, with as of now more than 80,000 people reached, well over 500 likes, and more than 350 shares! It is by far the highest traffic thing Horn Matters has ever posted there.
Why so much interest? Besides all the “war” over many years between those that support “horn” over “French horn,” the comments on Facebook begin to point to the answer. One person in particular kind of hit on it best, in that the Internet is actually reinforcing the use of French horn today, as search results are often not real useful unless you add the word “French.”
Horn by itself leads to all sorts of random stuff. Animal horns, car horns, and any musical instrument with a mouthpiece for example fall in the category of being horns.
Adding to the problem of course is the fact that the term horn is just used so loosely outside of classical music. For example check out this group:
From the name you as a Horn Matters reader likely have visions of a horn ensemble playing cool large horn ensemble music! But of course this is actually a jazz group. No French horns, just “horns.”
I find myself using the word French horn more and more these days, and I would mention also the world of Twitter has influenced me on this. The hashtag #Frenchhorn brings up completely relevant results, but #horn is mostly unrelated to (French) horn.
The International Horn Society recommends that HORN be recognized as the correct name for our instrument in the English language. [From the Minutes of the First General Meeting, June 15, 1971, Tallahassee, Florida USA]
So there we are. It is not a huge battle over a huge issue, but it is one that will continue!