Home page

"Edinburgh Visit Music List" ~ this is the developing list of historical musical peices that I would like to represent the development of musical instruments in planning a trip to the museum
Entries here are the peices I have chosen, or a suggestion of a type of peice I would like to include

These are some Horn-related excerpts from Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
Visit their site for an excellent interactive dictionary of Musical Terms

Other Music Links ~ Mussorgsky/Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition background
French Horn ~ On ThinkQuest ~ 'The Symphony - an  Interactive Guide'
The Mysterious Beethovens Ninth ~ http://www.slate.com/id/2084948/

The following excerpts are from ~ http://trainhorns.net/index.html ~ various pages :

In case you were wanting to do Chatanooga or something like it ~ you never know
when you'll need some reference on what chords make a good train horn.

The Hexatone H6 was developed in 1948 and 1949 by Robert E Swanson ~ sounded C D# F# A C and D#, designed by Swanson by using ancient Chinese musical theory

The H5 was the first horn ever built in any large production number by AirChime, and also holds the distinction of the world's first 5-chime horn. It has five bells, and Swanson's original tuning was C# D# F# A and C#.
Basically a five-note version of an H6. As on the H6, the bell lengths on the H5 could be adjusted
to change the pitch of each bell, fixed in place with a bronze lock nut. Some common chords produced by H5s
were A Major 6th (C# E F# A C#), A Major 7th (C# E G A C#), C# diminished (C# E G A# C#), and more

N3 and M3, plays the same chord - C# E and A

J3 Snowplow Whistle ~ was a short-lived model ~ designed for Canadian snow, plows.blows a D# minor chord

Some early model Leslie ~ Tyfon horn combinations ~
B, C#, F ~ or ~ C#, F, A ~ or ~ A#, C#, F ~ or ~ D#, B, F ~ or ~ B, C#, F, A ~ or ~
B, C#, D#, F, A ~ or ~ D#, B, C#, F, A ~ or ~ A#, C#, D#, F, A

In 1976, Deane Ellsworth, who was working with Amtrak at the time, worked with Nathan to produce a
new model of P horn. This horn became known as the P5a, with the 'a' for Amtrak tuning. The original P5
blew A major 7th (C# E G A C#), whereas the new P5a blew C# diminished (C# E G A# C#).

In 1977, a major change hit the P-series horn line. Nathan contracted out to at least two other foundries
to cast their P horn bells. When this was done, new castings were created for the P horns, which unfortunately
did not remain true to the AirChime specs. The new bells had different throat lengths and flares, and so the pitches
on the bells were different, even though the lengths of the bells are identical! The 1, 2, and 3 bell sound
approximately a half-step too high, and the 5 bell sounds a half step too low. The rest of the bells remain
unchanged in pitch. The resulting "new cast" P5s play D F G# A C, which is no distinguishable musical chord.

That's enough ~ enjoy ~ David


An obsolete wind instrument invented at the end of the 16 century; it is made of wood and resembles
a serpent. The instrument has a conical bore and finger-holes along its length; it produced a harsh,
rough tone. In modern ensembles the serpent is generally replaced by the tuba.
return to top of page  ------------------------------------------------------


~ An ancient wind instrument, originally made from animal horn, metal, or wood.
In the Medieval and Renaissance eras, the horn was used to signal in battles
and in hunts. The horn gradually evolved through a series of transformations:
the horn for hunting became spiraled so its length would not interfere with its
mobility, this natural horn became more refined and found its way into the early
Classical orchestra as a character instrument, implying military or hunting scenes.
Eventually crooks, and then valves were invented for the horn, enabling it to be
fully chromatic. In America, it is often referred to as the French horn. Also [Fr.] Cor, [It.] Corno, [Ger.] Horn, [Ger.] Ventilhorn, [Sp.] Trompa. A slang term referring to any wind instrument. Horn
return to top of page  ------------------------------------------------------


Aerophone (lip vibrated), Wind Instrument
Instruments similar to the Alphorn (Australian Didjeridu, Bibilcal Schofar) have been

in existance for nearly 100,000 years. The early instruments were used to signal warnings
often for military use, but in the mountainous area of the Alps, it was more commonly used
to announce daily activities. Archaeological records of the Alphorn in Switzerland date
back to the Celtic tribes on the northern slopes of the Alps about two thousand years ago.
References to the modern Alphorn in Switzerland date to the early 16th century.
By the 18th century, Alphorn melodies were written down by composers who incorporated them
into their own compositions (Johannes Brahms, Symphony Number 1, in c minor). Today the Alphorn is not used by herdsmen for signaling, but primarily by amateur musicians. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The Alphorn is a hollow tube made with wooden strips (spruce) bound with birch bark or cane.
It is conical bore with an upturned (or straight) bell and wooden mouthpiece similar to
that of the modern horn. They range in length from 10.6 feet to 13.5 feet.
The bells are often ornately decorated with painting or carvings.
The instrument is supported by small feet located under the bell. SOUND PROPERTIES: Sound is produced in a manner similar to brass instruments by the vibration of the
performers lips. Due to its conical bore the Alphorn produces a mellow, and reverberant
sound that can carry for long distances. RANGE: The instrument has a four-octave range. Since the Alphorn has no keys, valves, or slides,
it is not a chromatic instrument. This means that it can only produce the pitches in its
overtone series and cannot sound those pitches in between.
The Alphorns are most commonly in three different pitches.
The Alphorn with a fundamental pitch of F is 11 feet, 6 inches long,
the Alphorn with a fundamental pitch of F-sharp is 12 feet, 3 inches long,
and the Alphorn with a fundamental pitch of E is 13 feet, 2 inches long. Also [Fr.] cor des Alpes, [Ger.] Alphorn, [It.] corno delle alpi.
return to top of page  ------------------------------------------------------


An instrument of copper or brass, similar to 
the cornet, but higher and more piercing in pitch. 
Formerly it was equipped with keys or valves, but now 
exists only in natural form and is used in military 
field music. ~ A hunting horn. 
return to top of page  ------------------------------------------------------


Aerophone, Brass instrument, Conical bore
The beginnings of the cornet evolved from the French post horn. 
It was wound into a single coil and fitted with two valves by 
instrument maker Halary of Paris around the year 1825. 
This instrument was named the valve cornet. The final form 
was called cornet d’harmonie, and then the name was changed to 
cornet a pistons. In the early years of the instrument in Germany 
the name was Posthorn mi Ventil. The valved instrument in England 
was known as the cornopean, cornet, stop horn, or a small stop horn. 
Halary referred to the new instrument as cornet de harmonie, 
and he marked with crooks for C, B, A-flat, and G. 

The cornet has always been a part of musical ensembles in the United States. 
In the first part of the 1900's, the cornet was the solo instrument of choice 
with many cornet virtuosos performing all across the country as well as the 
capitols of Europe. In the mid-1900's, the instrument was all but replaced 
by the trumpet. Much of the concert band music over the years was composed 
with the cornet in mind, but today, most ensembles use the cornet and 
trumpet interchangeably and most virtuoso work is performed on the trumpet. 
Today, the cornet is used primarily in the British Brass Band 
style of music where the cornet is a unique section in the ensemble.
A brass instrument with valves related to the trumpet but lacking the brilliance of a 
trumpet. The cornet has a wider bore and a deeper mouthpiece than a trumpet does, 
thus giving it a more mellow sound; also, the cornet has a conical bore as opposed 
to the trumpet's cylindrical bore. 

Sound is produced in a similar manner to other brass instruments (trumpet, 
trombone, tuba, etc.). The performer's lips vibrate against the mouthpiece 
producing sound. As with the Alphorn the cornet has a conical bore in 
opposition to the trumpets cylindrical bore. This causes the cornet's 
tone to have more of a mellow sound.  

The cornet is pitched in B-flat, and has a practical range from f# to c3. 
Professionals often extend the range, attaining notes more than an octave higher.  

return to top of page  ------------------------------------------------------
Cornetto ~ original, also cornetti, etc. ~ 
A Renaissance wind instrument of the brass family, 
yet made of wood, with finger holes similar to those 
of a recorder. The cornetto has a cup shaped mouthpiece 
and is sounded n the same manner that a brass instrument 
is sounded. It was developed from the horn of a cow, and 
always retained its curved shape. It was most popular 
during the late 1500's and early 1600's. 

See also; 
[Fr.] Cornet ~ bouquin; 
[Ger.] Zink, Zinck, Zinke; 
[It.] cornetto; [Sp.] corneta. 
return to top of page  ------------------------------------------------------

Aerophone (lip-vibrated), Wind Instrument, Brass Instrument
Trumpets originated from end-blown objects such as animal horns, bones, or bamboo. 
They were primarily used for military signalling. Records indicate that trumpets 
were used in religious services as early as c. 2000 B.C.E. It is also know that 
two early trumpets were found in King Tutankhamen's tomb in Egypt (c. 1339 B.C.E.). 
According to the Bible, Moses made two trumpets of silver. The modern "folded" 
trumpet (as opposed to a long straight tube) was created around 1400 C.E. 
Images from the 15th century show performers with both straight and folded trumpets. 
Trumpets were introduced into the opera in 1607 with Claudio Monteverdi's opera Orfeo. 
After that, they became common in opera orchestras and in the 19th century were 
commonplace in the symphony orchestras. The modern trumpet is a common instrument 
in concert bands, jazz bands, marching bands, and is used in many genre 
of popular music as well as in today's symphony orchestra. 

A family of brass instruments with a cylindrical bore, valves, and a cup mouthpiece
producing a clear, bright tone. Three valves are used to make the instrument fully

chromatic. Some models have a fourth valve to adjust for inherent intonation problems
of the instrument. A trigger mechanism is sometimes added to the the first or
third valve tuning slide that is used to provide a way for the performer to fix
the intonation problems with certain valve combinations. SOUND PROPERTIES: Sound is produced (as in most brass instruments) by the vibration of the performers lips. Three valves are used to make the instrument fully chromatic. RANGE: The trumpet is pitched in the soprano range and has a normal chromatic range from F-sharp below middle C to C above the treble clef. Experienced performers are able to extend the upper range, often to the G above the high C (or higher). The trumpet in C is a
non-transposing instrument, the trumpet in B-flat has the same written range,
but sounds a step lower. See also Piccolo Trumpet, Bass Trumpet, Herald Trumpet, Natural Trumpet, Slide Trumpet. Also [Fr.] Trompette, [Ger.] Trompete, [It.] Tromba, [Sp.] Trompeta. Trumpet
return to top of page  ------------------------------------------------------

Piccolo trumpet
[Piccolo - It., small]

A small trumpet that sounds an octave above the regular trumpet and an octave above 
its written music. The piccolo trumpet today is commonly pitched in "B-flat" but

can be found in the keys of "A," "F," and "G." The range of the "C" piccolo trumpet
is d'' to b''''.

return to top of page ------------------------------------------------------ Flugelhorn (FLOO-gul horn) A conical bored, brass instrument pitched in B-flat with the same range as a cornet. It has a wide bell and is used in jazz and commercial music. Flugelhorn
return to top of page  ------------------------------------------------------


Aerophone, Brass instrument, Conical bore 
The concertmaster Sommer of Weimar designed the euphonium in 1843, which was

a wide-bored valved bugle in the baritone range. This instrument was then called
the Euphonion. A brass instrument of the tuba family, smaller and higher in pitch
than a tuba, with a range of B-flat below the bass clef to B-flat in the treble clef.
This instrument is mostly used in concert bands and military bands.
The euphonium has taken the place of Richard Wagner's tenor tuba. All of the music
originally written for the tenor tuba is now typically performed on the euphonium. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The euphonium is constructed in the way that it looks like a miniature tuba.
It contains a conical bore and a flared bell, with four valves. SOUND PROPERTIES: Sound is produced with the euphonium by the performer vibrating his/her lips
against the mouthpiece. A very mellow and smooth tone is produced from the instrument
without the pitch problems that occurred and plagued the Wagner tubas, but the
euphonium is only used to replace the tenor tuba. RANGE: The euphonium's range is the same as the bass trombone starting in the bass clef
ranging from Bb1 below the bass clef to bb1 above the bass clef. The euphonium
is also a non-transposing instrument. Also [Fr.] Euphonium, [Fr.] Basseà pistons , [It.] Eufonio, [Ger.] Euphonium, [Ger.] Baryton, [Sp.] Euphonium, [Sp.] Bombardino. Euphonium
return to top of page  ------------------------------------------------------

Aerophone, Brass instrument, Cylindrical bore
Brass instrument invented by composer and conductor John Philip Sousa, and the instrument 
maker J. W. Pepper (Philadelphia). The design was adapted from the tuba and the helicon. 
There were many helicons available at the time, including the 1883 Czerveny "Kaiser Bass" 
with a helicon shape. Sousa was happy enough with the sound of the helicon in a marching 
situation, but was looking for a mellower sound for his concert settings. In 1893, Pepper 
built an instrument that allowed the bell to be pointed upwards for the concert setting 

and forward for the march. He called it a sousaphone to thank Sousa for his suggestions. Other companies made their versions and the instrument maker C. G. Conn made a sousaphone preferred by Sousa in his bands. Today's sousaphone (starting with the 1908 Conn version) has a forward bell which
coils around to rest upon the performer's shoulder thus allowing the instrument to be
carried with greater ease while marching. After the introduction of the sousaphone,
John Philip Sousa predicted that in a few years, every home would have one. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The sousaphone is basically a tuba that coils around the body with a flared bell
that faces forward. As such, it is similar to the tuba in how it is played.
The main difference is the sousaphone wraps around the performer's body to
make the instrument easier to carry in marching bands. It is made of the same brass material and can also be silver plated like a tuba.
Many of the popular models are made of a fiberglass material that make it much
lighter in weight,designed for more comfort when carried for long periods.
Most sousaphones have only three valves. SOUND PROPERTIES: The sousaphone is played in the same manner as all other brass instruments. The performer vibrates his/her lips against the mouthpiece producing a tone, and the pitch is controlled by three valves. RANGE: Sousaphones can be pitched in nearly any key. Most sousaphones are in the key of B-flat, however, it is not unusual to find instruments in E-flat. The sousaphone notes sound one octave lower than written. This is indicated by the "BB-flat" or "BBb" designation.
The lowest note written for the sousaphone is the low F in bass clef. The high range
goes to the F in the bass clef staff, with the professional performer extending the
range more than an octave above that. Sousaphone
return to top of page  ------------------------------------------------------

Aerophone (lip-vibrated), Wind Instrument, Brass Instrument

The moden version of the sackbut. It was used for vocal doubling in church music

and in small ensembles. The trombone was not used in the orchestra until the 18th century.
The first prominent symphonic use was in Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony #5.
The modern family includes the Alto Trombone, Tenor Trombone,
Bass Trombone, and Contrabass Trombone. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: A family of brass instruments with a cylindrical bore and a slide rather than valves. The slide allows the performer to lengthen or shorten the length of tubing in the
instrument, thus allowing the harmonic series to be altered, making the instrument
fully chromatic. SOUND PROPERTIES: Sound is produced (as in most brass instruments) by the vibration of the performers lips. As the performer moves the slide out, the length of the tubing is increased which lowers the pitch being sounded. Seven pitches are possible in each harmonic of the trombone that are reflected in the seven positions of the slide. RANGE: The trombone has a normal chromatic range of E below the bass clef to B-flat
above middle C.Experienced performers are able to extend the upper range, often to
the F above middle C (or higher). A mechanical trigger mechanism (typically in F)
can extend the chromatic range to low C, and the bass trombone often has a second
trigger mechanism to add the low B-natural which extends the chromatic range
into the pedal register, down to a pedal F. See also Alto Trombone, Tenor Trombone, Bass Trombone, Contrabass Trombone. Also [Fr.] Trombone, [Ger.] Posaune, [It.] Trombone, [Sp.] Trombón. Trombone Range Tenor Trombone Tenor Trombone (with F Trigger) Bass Trombone (with F and G Triggers)
return to top of page  ------------------------------------------------------

The bass member of the modern brass family.

The tuba family includes the euphonium, sousaphone, C and B-flat tubas, and others.
The modern orchestral tuba has valves, a conical bore and a range of D two octaves
below the bass clef to G above middle C. The bell is very wide and the cup very deep, thus facilitating the extremely low notes so characteristic of the instrument. Tuba ------------------------------------------------------ Oboe (OE-boe) CLASSIFICATION: Aerophone, Woodwind, Double-reed HISTORY: In the 17th century, the original one-piece shawm was turned into a jointed instrument
by Jean Hotterre pere and Michel Philidor II at the Court of France (1657). They probably became the first ones to invent and both play the instrument they had come to start refering to as the oboe. In England though it was refered to as the hautbois or the hoboy, and then later known as the French hoboy.
In 1951 Marx said that Michel Philidor II modified the old shawm reed, and with
the help of Jean Hotteterre the Elder, together they made the oboe around 1655. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: This double-reed instrument has a gently tapering conical bore. There are many difficulties that performers have come across when playing the oboe. This is due to the volatile part of the oboe, the reed. The reed is inserted at the top of the instrument. SOUND PROPERTIES: The oboe is said to have the most unique "voice" out of all the woodwinds. It has a warm, reedy, almost squawking sound. The pitch of the oboe is easily "lipped" higher or lower by the player, and a well-trained oboist is able to play long passages and long notes in a single breath due to the nature of the instrument. Sensitivity of the reed makes the oboe a very taxing instrument to play. The breath control required calls for an oboist to have frequent rest periods. RANGE: There are four range sections for the oboe. The first from B-flat below middle C to F in
the first space in the treble clef staff, which is very thick and heavy. Next is from G
on the second line to A above the staff, which gives off a warm and prominant sound.
Then the range from B above the staff to E has a thin but clearn tone characteristic.
Finally the range from high F to E has a very pinched and ineffective tone. Also [Fr.] Hautbois, [Ger.] Oboe or Hoboe, [It.] oboe.
return to top of page  ------------------------------------------------------
English horn
(EENG-glish horn)

Aerophone, Woodwind, Double-reed
The English horn is the direct descendent of the oboe da caccia, which was used

throughout the Baroque period. There is some debate on the name English horn,
because the instrument is neither English nor does it look anything like a horn.
The reasoning of this could be, because the English horn used to be called the
cor angle since it had a bent shape similar to some of the older instruments.
Angle, which is a French word, was mistranslated as anglais,or English.
Even with the modern instrument being straight, the translation is still used and
the instrument is still known to this day as the English horn.
The English horn, or the oboe da caccia, was often used in Baroque music,
but was not used very much from Haydn's time to Wagner's era.
In the works of Berlioz and Meyerbeer the English horn received attention.
Starting from the middle of the nineteenth century on, the English horn
has had a more prominent position within orchestral music. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The English horn has a conical body and is a double-reed instrument that looks
like a large oboe with a bulb-shaped bell and bent double-reed. Both the body
and the double-reed are slightly longer than those found on oboes. SOUND PROPERTIES: The sound of the English horn is similar to that of the oboe.
The tone of both instruments get thinner as you get higher into the register.
When you get to the highest notes of the register the English horn sounds so much
like the oboe that it actually loses it's own distinct characteristic tone.
In the lower notes of the range of the English horn you get a rich and beautiful tone,
that posses a strong and expressive carrying power. RANGE: It is a transposing instrument in the key of F, sounding a fifth lower than
the written notes. The practical written range of the English horn written is from
b (below middle C) to g3 (above the treble clef staff). Experienced performers are
able to extend that range more than fifth higher. The sounding range is from
e (below middle C) to the c3 on the top of the treble clef staff. See also Oboe da caccia (Hunting Oboe) Also [Fr.] Cor anglais, [It.] Corno inglese, [Ger.] Englischhorn, [Sp.] Corno inglés.

return to top of page ------------------------------------------------------ Sordun (SOR-dun) An instrument of the 16th and 17th centuries related to the crumhorn,
it had a double reed,a cylindrical bore, twelve finger holes, and a body
that doubled back upon itself. The sordun was made in four sizes, ranging from Gross Bass to Cantus. ------------------------------------------------------ Rackett (RA-ket) A wind instrument of the Renaissance, having a double reed.
The rackett came in four sizes, but, lacking the strength of tone
of the shawm and dulcian, it fell into disuse in the 18th century. See also [Fr.] cervalat à musique; [Fr.] bassoon à serpentine; [Ger.] Rackettenfagott; [Ger.] Stockfagott; [Ger.] Wurstfagott; [Eng.] pocket bassoon; [Eng.] sausage bassoon. http://www.music.vt.edu/musicdictionary/textr/Rackett.html ------------------------------------------------------ Shawm (sham) A popular Medieval and Renaissance instrument, in use from the 13th to the 17th century.
The shawm has a widely conical bore and is made of wood. It has a double reed
and a particularly loud, rough, nasal tone. The shawm was made in seven sizes
and preceded the oboe. They were used in civil ceremonies, and in bands. http://www.music.vt.edu/musicdictionary/texts/Shawm.html
return to top of page  ------------------------------------------------------

A Medieval and Renaissance wind instrument related to the recorder, but with an encased 
double reed. Thus, the crumhorn was sounded by blowing into a mouthpiece, not by placing 
the lips directly on the reeds. The crumhorn is curved and shaped like the letter "J" with 
finger holes similar to those of a recorder. The sound produced by the crumhorn is much 
harsher than that of an oboe, resembling more closely that of the bagpipe with a buzzing, 
squawking sound. The crumhorn was made in a variety of sizes from treble to bass.


A family of ancient instruments still in use today that is made of a sack or bellows

which holds air, several pipes, and a double-reeded, fingered pipe called a "chanter". The unfingered pipes are called drones and produce pedal tones.
The bagpipe makes a constant, unbroken sound as the air stored in
the sack is constantly being supplied to the pipes. The most famous bagpipes are those of Scotland and Ireland. Also [Fr.] cornemuse, [Ger.] Sackpfeife, [It.] Cornamusa, [Sp.] Gaita. Bagpipe http://www.music.vt.edu/musicdictionary/textb/Bagpipe.html
return to top of page  ------------------------------------------------------ 

Aerophone, Woodwind, Double-reed
Sometime before 1636 the one-piece instrument the curtall was changed into

a separately jointed instrument in France, come be known as the bassoon.
It was called the French bassoon in England and Germany. For the rest of
the century the name curtall and the different variations on the name from
other countries outside of France were kept to denote the difference between
the old and new instruments.
The larger contrabassoon was created to be the lowest member of the family. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The bassoon is a double reed wind instrument with a conical bore.
The bassoon is also the bass instrument of the wind section and belongs
to the oboe family. The double reed is set onto a curved metal tube
called the crook or the bocal. SOUND PROPERTIES: The pitch of the bassoon can be altered by adjusting the position of
the bocal in its receiver. By pulling the bocal out you can lengthen the
instrument which will lower the pitch slightly or by pushing it in you can
shorten the instrument which will raise the pitch slightly. The bassoon rivals
the oboe by the virtue of how well the instrument can produce attacks and
staccato passages but the tone of the is less nasal. The bassoon, like the oboe, performs lyric melodies excellently. The unique sound
of the bassoon makes it ideal to be used for comical or grotesque effects. RANGE: The range of the bassoon has four unique tonal sections.
The lowest, being of a sonorous dark and vibrant quality, includes B-flat below
the bass clef staff to the first line G of the bass clef staff. The next section
is of a subdued sweet and very expressive tones starting from the first space
A of the bass clef staff to the D above middle C. Next is a tonal section that is somewhat thin, but intense starting from fifth line E of
the tenor clef staff to B-flat. Finally there is the tonal section that is thin and many
times has a pinched tone starting at the A above the tenor clef staff to a high E-flat. Notice that the bassoon is usually written in the bass clef and tenor clef staffs. See also Contrabassoon Also [Fr.] Basson, [Ger.] Fagott, [It.] Fagotto. Bassoon
return to top of page  ------------------------------------------------------

Double-reed woodwind instrument with the lowest range in the woodwind family sounding 
an octave below a regular bassoon. The contrabassoon is also called double bassoon.
Also [Fr.] contre-bassoon, [Ger.] Kontrafagott, [It.] contrafagotto 

return to top of page
Return to home page

Page created July 2005
last addition 5 Sept 06