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All Things French Horn

From this page you can shop our range of French Horns including Single French Horns, Full Double French Horns, Compensating French Horns and Kinder French Horns. We stock French Horns from all the best brands including Yamaha, Holton, Conn and Paxman and more.


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The French Horn or often just called 'the horn' is an instrument belonging to the brass family. Technically it is a variation of the German Horn, and it is formed from a coil of tubing with a 'flared bell' style end. Someone who plays a French horn is known as a horn player or hornist, and the instrument is known for the deep, yet high-ranging sound produced. The French Horn is a crucial part of any orchestra. Similar to other brass instruments, the pitch is controlled by the force of air blown through the mouthpiece, and by the valves - used to dictate the notes and tones produced.

Like most horns, the French Horn was adapted from the traditional method of using hollowed animal horns. This technique is where the horn instrument begun its historical journey through music, however not many horns are made this way anymore. It's thought that the valves now found on a French Horn, were thought to be implemented in the 19th century. Did you know? The name French Horn is only used in English, as most professional circles just use the term 'Horn'. Another random fact about the French Horn, is that it is designed to be played with the left hand and is one of the only instruments to have this design feature.

How is the French Horn played?

Like all brass instruments the sound is produced by buzzing the lips into a mouthpiece. The French Horn is said to be one of the harder instruments to learn, most of these difficulties are credited to the fact that its normal range is far higher than most instruments and that it is played with the non-dominant hand. It is considered to be the most difficult brass to learn, mostly just because of how different it is.

Where is the French Horn played?

The french horn is commonly found in brass bands and is a popular and crucial addition to symphony orchestras, concert bands and instrumental groups too. In a full orchestra There can be anywhere from 2 to 8 French horns, playing both melody and harmony as well as rhythm. The French Horn is also extremely popular in film scores, with many composers choosing the French Horn for starring roles in Hollywood movie soundtracks. It can also be played on its own.

Famous French Horn players include:

Famous French Horn music include:

French Horn Rental

Our Instrument Rental Scheme is perfect if you're not sure that you wish to purchase an instrument just yet. For example, you may have a young beginner and you want to see how they progress or you may be an adult adding another instrument to your collection. Our 'Start Right' rental scheme is flexible, affordable and you can use some of the money spent on the rental towards the cost of a new instrument. We offer a range of French Horns for rental. The two Single Horns that are ideal for young beginners are the Bb and F versions. It's down to the preference of the Teacher as to which of these you start on so please check with them accordingly. For any adults, or indeed those progressing from a Single Horn we also offer monthly rental on the Yamaha Full Double Horns.

If you're looking to purchase a French Horn or you're simply looking to do some more research into the French Horn, here at Dawkes we have a wide range of French Horns available. Our musical experts will be on hand to give you advice and guidance you need, and they are always happy to help.