Any self-respecting 18th-century prince relied on enormous, extravagantly expensive hunting parties with dozens of horsemen and hundreds of dogs, whinnying horses, wild bursts of barking, and above all deafening blasts on the horns, as a reliable status symbol. But the horn was not only an outdoor instrument; it was also a well-loved denizen of many a palace music room. The instrument, in the course of the century, had evolved from being primarily an attribute of the hunt into a full-fledged member of the classical orchestra. Stopping technique became widespread around 1750: by moving the right hand inside the bell, the player was able to fill in the breaks in the horn’s natural scale, making it possible to play melodies. This changed the roaring brassiness of the hunting horn into a somewhat veiled, warmer sound associated with the French horn. (Valves were not added until the 19th century.)Download booklet
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