Josef Müller


[circle medalion]Josef Müller

Serial Number :
Date of Manufacture:
ca. 1880

E, (others by terminal crook)

3 rotary
Mouthpipe Socket:
Bell Flare:
Bell Throat:
Bell Diameter:
Base Metal:
Brass, nickel-silver trim
Raw Brass
Josef Andreas Müller (1850-1936) was the son of brass instrument maker, Vincenz Müller in Schönbach, Bohemia (now Luby, Czech Republic). In 1873 he succeeded his father in the business and in 1880 extended it to include stringed instruments for which he patented several improvements. He was also accused of of counterfeiting Couesnon-model cornets. The family business flourished under his son, Josef, Jr., until after 1929. Exhibitions incude Eger (1881), Trieste (1882), Prague (1885), Paris (1889), and Vienna (1892).

The arrangement of rotary valves in a triangular pattern was not uncommon among horn makers in Bohemia and the vicinity of Vienna as an alternative to the Vienese pumpen valves. This innovation was no doubt an attempt to reduce the "acoustic resistance" due to the sharp angles of tubing found in the valve clusters of the Vienna horn and in-line rotary valves. Other examples of triangular valve arrangement are known by Josef Wolf, Prague; Leopold Uhlmann, Jr., Vienna; Josef Glassl, Graslitz; and Jos. Fotter, Mladá Boleslav, Bohemia. The modern Czech firm, M.Jiracek a synove, makes a similar F/Bb Double Horn (Model Nr.101 "Supin") with four rotary valves arranged in a square. "This unique design allows the airstream to pass through the valves unidirectionally - with acoustic resistance reduced incredibly."

The terminal crook that accompanies this horn puts it into E horn. Eb can almost be achieved by fully extending the main tuning slide. There is evidence of old repairs (dent removal, re-soldered joints, etc.) including the brass ferrule at the bend in the leadpipe below the crook socket.
The obtuse angles formed by the triangular arrangement of the valves are intended to reduce the "acoustic resistance" of the air column over the more common in-line valve configurations. The placement of the music lyre socket above the first valve near the player's face might indicate that this model is intended for particulary myopic military band member. The original retaining screw on the third valve rotor has been replaced by a small machine screw drilled and soldered through a Swiss 20 rappen coin. (see below)
A 1975 Swiss 20 rappen coin forms the "head" of the retaining screw on the third valve rotor. This late date and the repairs mentioned above would seem to indicate the horn has been cared for and in use for nearly a century.
Above left: A similar but "richly engraved soloist model" by Leopold Uhlmann, Jr., Vienna, ca. 1885. (Pizka collection.) Right: From the catalog of Josef Glassl, Kraslice (Graslitz) and Klingenthal, 1925, "F oder Es-Waldhorn mit Dreiecksmaschine." Below: The horn quartet of he Johann Strauss orchestra in 1869 with, from left F. Morawetz, F. Sabay, Em Radnitzky, and Josef Schantl. Note the horn that Schantl is holding. (Pizka collection, Horn Call, XIV no.2, April 1984)


Herbert Heyde, Das Ventilblasinstrument, Breitkopf & Härtel, Wiesbaden, 1987
Hans Pizka, Hornisten-Lexikon, Dictionary for Hornists, Hans Pizka Edition, Kirchheim bei München, 1986
Hans Pizka, "A Curious Gem from my Archive",The Horn Call, v.XIV, n.2, p.97, The International Horn Society, 1984.
William Waterhouse, The New Langwill Index, Tony Bingham, London , 1993


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