Double Horn - Doppelhorn
|How to use the double horn:||Wie nutzt man das moderne F-B Doppelhorn:|
Have you ever thought how to produce 1.:"sotto voce" ?
There is a simple solution:
How is this for point 1. ? Sing the simple melodic line "sotto voce" on the F-horn.
You will immediately feel the difference in the sound, the warmth, - and no zzsschh in the sound. Well admitted, if the line goes up to a peak note as f2, f#2 or g2, why not switching to B-flat-side just for this note.
How about point 3. ? Well, nearly the same as under point 2. Play the upper note on the F-side & the single low notes on the B-flat-side. Reverse the normal process. Watch how present the low notes are now.
How about point 4. ?
Have you ever thought about that more tension in the lips can be achieved by different way. The one is to stretch them, resulting in higher pitch, but less endurance, because the flesh gets thinner. It also results in much tension. The other one is thicken the lips & thus also shorten the vibrating portion of the lip, thus resulting in higher pitch but not making the flesh thinner. The contrary is the case. You will have some kind of "cushion" & not so much tension. Use the "ring" muscles a lot.
How to use the double horn pt.2:
To make it clear, if I talk about names of notes
(pitches), this is for
notation in F. Surely, if there is a rapid technical passage, one cannot
care about all of these special fingerings (for me they are normal !), but
How to use the double horn pt.3
Mahler Symphony no.2 third movement: There are
several calls for the brass
in different keys. Rehearsal number 39: written B-nat. major sounds as
E-major & is best with the 2nd valve on the F-side. written E-major sound
A-major & is best with the 2nd valve on the B-flat-side, rehearsal number
49: notated G-major sounding as C-major is done easiest on the G-horn as
finger 1-2 on the B-flat-horn combined with using the 1st valve alone
This for the brass calls. The notated C#-major 16 measures before number
How to make "gestopft"
in a fortissimo
Very simple solution:
Grown up with the hand horn first & later studying horns with valves & playing both types - different to others who studied the hand horn after the valve horn - I might have a different & perhaps more natural approach to the relevant technique than others.
The theory & the practical use of the "gestopft" technique are two different pairs of shoes. We should not resume the discussion about it. For those interested into what really happen inside the horn acoustically, I might recommend to contact Dr. Robert Pyle.
But for all others: we should stay with the PRINCIPLE that stopping rises the tone for a half step & thus requires transposing it down for a half step to compensate the pitch difference. We should not become disturbed by the fact,
that gradually closing the bell (and this again works on the F-horn length ONLY - in principle) LOWERS the pitch for a half step.
But this is called MUTING not STOPPING.
MUTING by hand requires a transposition for a
Admitted, adding tube length by the use of the valve & using the "gestopft" technique, will result in slightly higher pitch, off course. The same is the case, but more audible, using the Bb-tube-length, but here again reduced a bit by adding tube length by the use of the valves, resulting in a double confusion.
But we have to compensate this anyway. How ? The
solution for the Bb-horn is
quite simple: the extra stopping valve, which is more or less a semitone,
BTW: stopping on the longer tube lengths (F-side plus added valves !) will NOT result in flat notes but in SHARP notes, as the hand position does not corres-pond to the longer tube !
How can we overcome the problem ? Do we have ears ? Do we have lips, which can be with more or less tension ? Yes, we do. So we have to adapt the pitch instantly by using our ears, the lips & slightly modifying our right hand position (opening a bit more or closing tighter). This is the same technique we should use for the "open" notes anyway.
Please give up the solely technical approach to the
horn. The horn is not a
keyboard instrument where you can hit a certain position & the same note
comes again & again. Years of experience - many years - and a still
ear will enable you to hit the notes in the right pitch NEARLY every time
want to do it, even on a brand new & different horn than yours, after you
tried it just for a few minutes before. All in conjunction with lip
The reaction & thus adaptation must be spontaneous, but working lifelong. This makes a good musician. If this ability is missing or lost, there is no chance.
One should also remember, that many of the above mentioned reactions or corrections CANNOT be taught, but initiated only. Every individual has to find his or her own exceptions for improvement.
There is only one thing to be judged: the "audible output", called the played music. So, many deviation from the "dogmatic path" may be allowed, if they work SECURE & COMFORTABLE & EASY.
So I repeat:
But here I was not speaking of the use of the F-side mainly, but of opening the "ball on the thumb".
One should also realise, that we should avoid combination fingerings where possible (another principle) as they tend to be sharp anyway as every valve slide is calculated separately but NOT for the combination, where the shorter slide will be much too short regarding the overall elongation by the longer valve.
If there are principles, those do not exclude exemptions, which might work better for particular persons or with particular instruments or in particular situations.
© Dec.2nd 1998 by Prof.Hans Pizka
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