French horn

French horn


: a brass musical instrument that has a long tube which forms a circle and has a wide opening at one end

Full Definition of FRENCH HORN

:  a circular valved brass instrument having a conical bore, a funnel-shaped mouthpiece, and a usual range from B below the bass staff upward for more than three octaves

Illustration of FRENCH HORN

First Known Use of FRENCH HORN


French horn

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Orchestral and military brass instrument, a valved circular horn with a wide bell. It is normally a transposing instrument (its music written in a different tone than its actual sound) in F. It has a wide bore and three (sometimes four) rotary valves; its conical mouthpiece produces a mellower tone than the cup-shaped mouthpieces of other brass instruments. Horns long relied on separable crooks—circular lengths of tubing that could be attached and removed rapidly—for music modulating to new keys. Since c. 1900 the standard horn has been a “double” instrument, with built-in crooks in F and B-flat that can be selected rapidly by means of a thumb valve. The modern symphony orchestra usually includes four horns. Though difficult to play and prone to producing conspicuous errors, its tone is widely admired.


Next Word in the Dictionary: French ice cream
Previous Word in the Dictionary: French hood
All Words Near: French horn

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up French horn? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).