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Rare, Cool, or Odd Instruments

Articles on topics ranging from Alphorn to Wagner tuba and beyond!

A Conch Shell Horn

With summer upon us it is a good time to step back and switch things up with something different. Often horn players make use of...

A Wagner Tuba Mouthpiece

Sticking with the general topic of the article last week, the Wagner tuba, today we have an oddity, a Wagner tuba mouthpiece. Exhibit "A" is this...

Alphorn World Record!

Yesterday a world record was smashed! The old record was 366 alphorns, but according to Reuters, "508 players broke a record set in 2009."...

Horns on the Recital 2011: an Alto Range Adventure!

My 2011 recital at the Musical Instrument Museum is coming soon -- Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 10:30 and 1:00 to be exact. On a...

Transforming wood into brass; the alchemy of Rob Jones

Recently I had some some email exchanges with Rob Jones, an award-winning artisan who sculpts in wood. In our exchange he offered some specific...

Count Roland’s Oliphant of Woe

Recently I was reminded of a historic medieval French poem, The Song of Roland. Key in this poem - which is one of the...

Looks like a mini-Wagner Tuba: Introducing the Althorn

Recently I have had the opportunity to try this great example of an althorn. This particular one is in F and was made by...

World Cup Horn: The Vuvuzela

Now that the FIFA World Cup is in full gear, the vuvuzela  - pronounced voo-voo-ZAY-lah - is fair game for a Horn Matters article. This...

What a Wood Chuck Wouldn’t Chuck

Last September, I wrote about wood carver Rob Jones;  his rendering in wood of a single F Jupiter model French horn was truly impressive. A...

Wooden French Horn

Long ago at an International Horn Society convention, I tried out a selection of wooden mouthpieces. While I couldn't imagine playing on one for...