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> INSTRUMENTOLOGY > BRASS > Horn in F > Sound Characteristics

Sound characteristics

Full, warm, velvety, clear, distant, mellow, metallic.
The sound is homogeneous, only the deepest notes sound a little more muffled and ponderous.

Low register
B1 – D3

Most effective played piano, where the notes are very mellow and sonorous. Well-suited as bass in horn chords or woodwind chords. Also very effective as solo bass. Ideal for the performance of thematic tasks, for example in the 3rd movement of the 7th symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827), where the sustained horn notes are extremely sonorous and mellow.

Forte notes sound a shade less powerful and expressive than in the upper registers. When forced they take on a slightly rough tone.

Middle register
Eb3 – Eb4

Full and resounding. Piano notes very mellow. Forced notes can sound mellow or coarse and tempestuous. Creates a more sober impression than the upper register.

Upper register
E4 – F5

Soft as velvet, bright and very intense, brilliant. This characteristic horn sound develops best around C5, as the horn quartet in the overture to Weber’s "Freischütz" demonstrates.
Forced, the high horn notes are very bright and powerful but with relatively little shrillness.