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The French Horn Thread
28 February 2017
11.54pm
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The Hole Got Fixed
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We all know the French Horn is the best instrument. It is the only instrument to feature on a Beatles cover, as well!

@GardeningOctopus, you might have 10 bob to add as well.

A side purpose of this thread is to rival the Ukulele thread!a-hard-days-night-john-1

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1 March 2017
8.09am
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sir walter raleigh
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I always think of Alan Civil's french horn playing on For No One when I think of the instrument.

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1 March 2017
8.36am
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sir walter raleigh said
I always think of Alan Civil's french horn playing on For No One when I think of the instrument.  

Me too, it adds a nice colour to the song. Though I have to admit Paul is doing a great job imitating the french horn too:

 

It's funny this topic emerges today because we just listened to the third symphony of Beethoven in music class and the french horn solo at the end of the first movement was so great! I instantly had to thing of this thread!

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1 March 2017
11.24am
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I always think of For No One .  What a great song!  Good to play on an acoustic guitar.  And from my chilhdood, Flanders and Swann's version of Mozart's horn concerto about a neighbour who didn't appreciate the learning curve of playing one. 🙂

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1 March 2017
8.20pm
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Beatlebug
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@sir walter raleigh said
I always think of Alan Civil's french horn playing on For No One when I think of the instrument.  

Me three! 

@Martha said

Me too, it adds a nice colour to the song. Though I have to admit Paul is doing a great job imitating the french horn too:

*prprrrrprprprprprrrprrprrprrrrrrr French horn prrprprrprprprprprprprpprrrrrrrrrrrrrr* 

It's funny this topic emerges today because we just listened to the third symphony of Beethoven in music class and the french horn solo at the end of the first movement was so great! I instantly had to thing of this thread!  

I LOVE that! I always do that, too, when I play the song. ahdn_george_08

P.S. Welcome to the forum, fellow Martha My Dear namesake! 

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1 March 2017
9.29pm
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Yay french horns!!!!

http://hornmatters.com/2009/05.....%E2%80%9D/

I found this article on Alan Civil that's quite interesting, especially this part:

Alan Civil played classical horn for decades, but is most renowned for one evening of session work. He was the principal horn player in the Philharmonia when George Martin called him to ask if he could provide the French horn obligato on a Beatles song. For the instrumental break of “For No One ,” Civil played the melancholy French horn solo, something he recalled as difficult to come up with since the Beatles weren’t clear about what they wanted, and because the track had been taped in the cracks between B-flat and B-major. Still, he did his job well, and is also heard briefly in the background near the end of the song. It was actually the third studio session he’d played on that day.

I really wish I could find out what exact horn he used in the recording, the article has some info, but is unsure. a-hard-days-night-george-4

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1 March 2017
9.46pm
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Here's a nice video with a woman from the London Philharmonia Orchestra talking about the French Horn! a-hard-days-night-george-10

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2 March 2017
2.18am
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Nice lesson.  What a fascinating instrument.  You wonder why a single breath doesn't get lost in in all those feet of pipes.  I'm surprised you don't have to puff it up a bit first like bagpipes!      

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2 March 2017
3.06am
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I have 17 meters of piping in my French Horn... A single breath does get lost in it!

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2 March 2017
6.21am
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Do you breath with the diaphragm when you play?

https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

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2 March 2017
7.26am
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Martha
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Wow, that video was really interesting! Just out of curiosity: How do you play flutter-tonguing on the horn, is it the same process as on woodwind instruments? And what about double tongue and slap tongue is the latter possible on the french horn? Can you play as high as you want if you train your embouchure enough or is there a limitation? Sorry for all the questions but the video was very fascinating and I always liked the french horn's sound.

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2 March 2017
3.41pm
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@Starr Shine?, diaphragm is very important! That's how you get such a nice sound.

@Martha, we don't flutter-tongue on brass instruments very often at all, and slap tonguing is only possible on reed instruments.

We double and triple tongue regularly, and can play as high as we want if our embouchure is good enough. Any other questions?stuart-sutcliffe

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22 September 2017
5.52pm
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Martha
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Revival time!a-hard-days-night-john-6

So, my friend and I recently wondered why it is so difficult to play the French Horn. Because we play in many orchestras and it always seems that the French Horn players have to struggle with getting the notes right, there often come squeaks before the note actually can be heard. I always thought it's because playing a brass instrument is generally very hard since one has to hear the note in one's head before one plays it and one has to have a very good ear and everything. However, the trumpets and trombones don't struggle as hard as the horns do (at least in the orchestras we've played in), so it can't be a general brass instrument thing. 

Our assumption is that it's because French Horn players always have to play very high in comparison to how deep they could go with their instrument and the high overtones are always hard to get and also quite a lot out of tune. Is that right?

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Not once does the diversity seem forced -- the genius of the record is how the vaudevillian "When I'm 64" seems like a logical extension of "Within You Without You" and how it provides a gateway to the chiming guitars of "Lovely Rita. - Stephen T. Erlewine on Sgt Pepper's

22 September 2017
6.03pm
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The Hole Got Fixed
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That is correct. French horns are the only instrument where there are multiple pieces written out of our range. 

Also, due to all the tuning slides (what makes it look cool), it is much harder to get a note in tune, as our harmonics don't quite line up. 

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24 September 2017
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Dark Overlord
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My favorite French horn piece is the interlude in Sgt. Pepper 's Lonely Hearts Club Band one of the rare examples of the instrument being highlighted in a rock song.

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26 September 2017
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8Aside from that one, the first track I think of when it comes to French-horns-in-rock is Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush"...I spent many years being unsure exactly what instrument was soloing on For No One , since Civil was only credited with "horn" on the sleeve.

Here's a fun list!

http://nationalave.com/enterta.....horn/3293/

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26 September 2017
9.01pm
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vonbontee said
...what instrument was soloing on For No One , since Civil was only credited with "horn" on the sleeve.

Thats because the French horn is supposed to be called 'horn', but everyone adds 'french' at the start. 

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4 October 2017
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My favourite appearance of a horn  😉 ( French horn sounds so much fancier, oh well) in a rock song is the one at the beginning and also throughout the whole song in God Only Knows. It has the stunning property of being triumphant and gentle at the same time. I forget the rest of the world for a few seconds everytime I listen to it.

The famous French horn on this song was played by Alan Robinson, who appeared on the scores for many films, including The Sound of Music and The Ten Commandments. He got the call for the session because he could play without music written out. Brian Wilson sang him the horn line he had in mind, and Robinson played it by ear using a glissando technique suggested by Wilson.

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4 October 2017
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AHHH I never knew that was horn creating that magic! I guess I never listened carefully enough. Thanks, I learnt something today a-hard-days-night-george-9

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7 October 2017
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Is the instrument played by jazz musician Chuck Mangione the French horn?  If so, he had a famous hit in the 70s which gives a copious example of the sound and range.

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