French Horn< Back to Instrument Overview
Originally played by blowing on the actual horns of animals, today the French horn is an orchestral instrument made of over 12 feet of brass tubing and wrapped into a series of complex coils flaring out into what's called a bell. Musicians of the French horn are known as horn players. Sound is played by buzzing through one's closed lips, and pitch is controlled through adjusting one's lip tension in the mouthpiece and operating 3 valves with the left hand to control the flow of air. The French horn is the third highest sounding instrument in the brass family, below the trumpet and the cornet and is often utilized in school bands and orchestras. It is commonly played in chamber music and as part of an orchestra.