The VIENNA HORN (German : Wiener Horn) is a type of musical horn used
Austria , for playing orchestral or classical
music . It is used throughout Vienna, including the Vienna
Wiener Staatsoper .
* 1 History
* 2 Description
* 3 References
* 4 External links
Vienna horn Valves of a
Vienna horn, operated by long
push-rods from the 3 teardrop lever keys (at right).
During the nineteenth century, a number of experiments were made in
adding valves to the natural horn to enable it to play chromatically
without the need for hand-stopping . These experiments included adding
piston valves (as used in modern trumpets ) to a single F horn . The
horn was still crooked , by inserting other tubing, to re-tune the
instrument for music written in base keys other than F.
Vienna horn uses a unique form of double-cylinder valve
associated with the Viennese firm Uhlmann of the 1840s known as a
pumpenvalve . A pumpenvalve is similar to the standard piston valve,
but it is not pushed directly inward. Instead, long push-rods reach
across to each lever key (as with rotary valves), allowing either a
fast or slow change in the valve, by lever speed. The pumpenvalve
allows the air to flow straight when the valves are not actuated. When
a valve is engaged, each cylinder redirects the air stream 90 degrees
in one bend, lessening the resistance felt by the player. This type of
valve is one of the many contributing factors to the liquid legato
that is one of the trademarks of the Viennese school. However, the
indirect linkage between the fingers and the valves via can make the
action slow and therefore make quick technical passages more difficult
for the player.
The internal diameter of the
Vienna horn is also smaller than more
modern horns. This bore size and shape is actually very close to the
design of the valve-less natural horns. The removable crooks (usually
an F and A and/or B♭) are also smoothly tapered for the length of
the horn. Thus, there is no "compromise" (of dual tubing) as found in
the modern double horn and triple horn .
Although subsequent developments, including the rotary valve and
double horn, supplanted these horns in most places, the pumpenvalve
horn was retained in
Vienna because it sounds more like the natural
horn: with a more mellow sound and arguably smoother legato. This is
due in part to the piston valves and in part to the larger throated
(but smaller diameter) bell-flare still used with these instruments.
Vienna horn has remained virtually unchanged since the
Horn players who use the
Vienna horn also use a natural horn
mouthpiece, which is less concave than a typical double horn
mouthpiece. A standard horn mouthpiece is more concave, partly to
facilitate the playing of lower notes because of lower impedance of
the double horn.
* ^ Barry Tuckwell, Horn, Macdonald, 1983, p. 50.
* ^ "Dallas Music: Practical Physics for Trumpeters and Teachers".