The French Horn

Unlike the English horn, which is neither English nor a horn, the French horn does originally come from France and is unquestionably a horn. It comes from the French hunting horn of the 1600s, and produces a wide variety of sound ranging from very loud to very soft, and from harsh and blaring to mellow and smooth. The French horn's 18 feet of tubing is rolled up into a circular shape, with a large bell at its end. There are anywhere from 2 to 8 French horns in an orchestra, and they play both melody and harmony as well as rhythm. To play the French horn, hold it with the bell curving downward and buzz into the mouthpiece. Your left hand plays the three valves and you can change the type of sound you make by the way you place your right hand in the bell.