Footnotes on the First Triple Horn


I was pleased to see my article, “Memories of the First Paxman Triple Horn,” in the October, 2017 issue of The Horn Call. It was timely, as the first Paxman triple was constructed in December of 1967 — 50 years ago this year! — as explained further in the article. I was one of the owners of this exact instrument in the late 1980s. For more details on that, see the article in The Horn Call. The photo below is of me with the horn (with hair, too).

There was one big thing left out of the article, the footnotes. In the first note in particular I attempted to address a more difficult topic, the question of when the very first triple horn was constructed. The footnote begins noting the December, 1967 date of the horn I owned was

Confirmed by Paxman in an E-mail to the author dated December 8, 2015, noting also in the same message that their first compensating triple was constructed in 1975.

Then I continued,

There is a closely related topic, beyond the scope of this article, of when the very first triple horn was constructed by any maker. The date of 1960 is given by Herbert Heyde in his publications; horn collector Richard Martz in an E-mail conversation with the author (December 7, 2015) gives the relevant quote: “Heyde (Das Ventilblasinstrument, p. 187) says … Das Triplehorn wurde von dem Hornisten Richard Merewether vorgeschlagen, zuerst 1960 von der Firma Paxman in London gebaut, im deutschen Sprachraum zuerst Helmut Finke.” In short, Heyde credits Paxman as being first, but seven years earlier than they actually produced a triple horn. Other early, experimental triple horns from around that same time frame do exist. For example, Mike Harcrow posted on 7/5/2017 to the Facebook “Horn People” group photos of a compensating triple horn built by Howard Strong (of C. G. Conn) for Thomas Newell, which is reported to date from 1965 (but was subsequently rebuilt, as it was not very successful as first constructed). Certainly, Paxman serial number 12672 was a successful instrument (I can vouch!) by what became the early leader in triple horn construction. The overall development of triple horn designs would make a great research project for an adventurous Doctoral student.

The other missing footnotes are somewhat run of the mill, but give the sources of the other quotes in the article, which are:

  • Facebook message from Richard Chenoweth, May 15, 2017.
  • Facebook message from Paul Loredo, May 26, 2017.
  • eBay listing 2542866696, referenced on July 2, 2003.
  • E-Mail from Paul Loredo dated October 3, 2003.

The big picture question of who made a triple horn first has an answer, although I personally don’t have it. Would be an interesting one to try to research out.

The other footnote would be, the bio of me at the end of the article, I did not submit that. But I do understand deadlines and space limitations, and appreciate that the article was published. Check The Horn Call for more interesting details on that very first Paxman triple.

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