"German Model" Orchestra Horn


Orchestra horn with Terminal Crook
Serial Number:
Date of Manufacture:
ca. 1800?
Determined by terminal crook
Bell Flare:
seam at throat
Bell Throat:
Bell Diameter:
Base Metal:
yellow brass
(click on photos for larger view)

The distinquishing characteristic of this horn is the shape of the tuning slide. The legs the tuning slide do not cross over one another at their base as found on other types of natural horns. This follows the pattern of the Inventionshorn attributed to Bohemian horn virtuoso Anton Hampel and Dresden maker Johann Werner in the 1750s. According to Reginald Morley-Pegge, Hampel was dissatisfied with the terminal master crook and multiple couplers commonly used in the first half of the eighteenth century. "The alteration consisted in restoring the original fixed mouthpipe, cutting one coil of the hoop, and bending the cut ends towards the centre of the circle; the cut ends were then fitted with sockets into which the crook, provided with corresponding tenons, was inserted" (The French Horn, 1973, p. 20). Later, Joseph and Lucien-Joseph Raoux of Paris, at the suggestion of Carl Türrschmidt, strengthened the design by crossing the legs of the medial crook to form the cor solo. It was also used on the terminally crooked cor d'orchestre. In Germany, however, the Orchesterhorn combined terminal crooks to determine the key with Hampel's original pattern of uncrossed legs to the medial tuning slide. Horns of this design continued in use from the late eighteenth century through the first half of the nineteenth century. Notice that the only braces to the tubing are the two that maintain the spacing between the tuning slide legs. (See also the examples below)

The bell flare on this horn is not constructed in the typical vee-gusset inserted into the seam. Rather the flare ia separate piece seamed into the tail at the bell throat, as shown in the color-highlighted band in the above left photo. The sheet metal bell brace is of the simplest form. (Photo above right)
Horace Fitzpatrick (The Horn and Horn-Playing, 1970, p.139) ascribes this pattern to Vienna makers. He describes it in some detail:
"That the Orchesterhorn (or Kirchenhorn, as it is still locally known in Austria because of the favour it found with provincial church orchestras) grew out of the Hampl-Werner Inventionshorn as a Viennese adaptation is virtually certain, for its type is peculiar to makers at Vienna and Prague. It is difficult, however, to say when this model was first brought out, or by whom. Even an obviously early specimen such as that illustrated on Plate Xb bears no date, and no dated examples of the first models have as yet come to light. This particular instrument clearly shows the parentage of the terminally crooked Waldhorn and the Inventionshorn's central slide, however; and it is reasonable to estimate its date at c. 1760. [Footnote 1: A further clue to its date is the grotesque enlargement of the bell throat which makers at this transitional stage felt was necessary to provide room for the stopping hand to perform its new functions. Both left- and right-handed models were made.] Although the tuning-slide is missing, this horn affords a good example of the earliest model to incorporate both features. It is signed 'Wenzel Landa in Prag'..."
Reginald Morley-Pegge (The French Horn, 1973, Plate III) describes a similar horn (photo right) as follows:
"French Horn after the German model. Marked: CLEMENTI. Made, probably, in Germany about 1800 and sold by Clementi. This well-known firm's name is found on many early 19th-century instruments, both woodwind and brass, but it is more than doubtful if they actually made any other than the Nicholson flutes of which there were so many in collections."

Jeremy Montagu (The French Horn>/i>, (1990, p.12) describes the horn pictured at right as "Anonymous horn, probably German, probably third quarter of the eighteenth century, with the tubing cut and bent inwards into the circle so that a tuning slide can be fitted. With later models, the legs of the tuning slide cross each other before projecting into the circle, a much stronger construction."
Note that this horn has additional bracing from the tuning slide to the main tubing of the body. Though not mentioned in the description, it is terminally crooked.
Two later examples of the classic German Orchesterhorn are found in the brochures of J. Käpffens Söhne, Neukirchen (or Markneukirchen), ca. 1833 (left), and C.G. Herold, Klingenthal, ca. 1842 (right). Both firms were known as string instrument makers and general musical instrument dealers.



Fitzpatrick, Horace, The Horn and Horn-Playing and the Austro-Bohemian tradition from 1680 to 1830, London, Oxford University Press, 1970

Heyde, Herbert. Das Ventilblasinstrument, Seine Entwicklun im deutschsprachigen Raum von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart. Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1987. ISBN 3765102253

Montagu, Jeremy. The French Horn Shire Album 254. Buckinghamshire, UK: Shire Publications, 1990. ISBN 0747800863

Morley-Pegge, Reginald. The French Horn. A Benn Study, Music, Instruments of the Orchestra. Second Edition. London: Ernest Benn Limited/New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 1973. ISBN 0510366015 051036607 Pbk. 0393021718 (USA)

Waterhouse, William. The New Langwill Index, A Dictionary of Musical Wind-Instrument Makers and Inventors. London: Tony Bingham, 1993. ISBN0-946113-04-1

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