A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/French Horn

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FRENCH HORN. The designation of 'French' is commonly added to the name of the orchestral Horn, from the fact that a circular instrument of this nature, without crooks or other appliances, was, and still is, used in France for hunting. It is carried over one shoulder, and beneath the arm of the other side, usually on horseback. The great length of tube enables a long series of harmonic sounds to be obtained; and these, organised into 'calls' or signals, serve to direct the order of the chase. At the first introduction of the Horn into the Orchestra it was much objected to on this account; and its tones were considered coarse and boisterous, only fit for the open air and for woodland pastimes. [Horn.]

[ W. H. S. ]