HBM – Tuning the Horn

Tuning the Horn – at fac.hsu.edu/bucknej
Tuning Horn Slides to A – at fac.hsu.edu/bucknej

Double horn – two instruments in one (12’in F = F tuba and  9’ in B-flat – trombone); thumb trigger switches between the two sides

For most horns, pushing the thumb shortens the tubing to B-flat, but there are some that are reversed; there are some that allow the player to choose; there are also descant horns in B-flat (9’) and F (6’) for playing high Baroque parts and triple horns (12’ F, 9’ B-flat, and 6’ F)

Right hand must be correct (more cover = flatter)
If slides are excessive something is wrong with right hand
Twice a year for young players

  1. Tuned the Trumpet by moving the tuning slide

Tuning the Horn:

  1. Hand in the bell – it’s a hand horn with valves; without the hand in the bell, it will never be in tune with itself
  2. Find the main tuning slide/water slides – pull slides and listen for the buzz that is on both sides of the thumb valve
  3. Find F and B-flat tuning slides (pre-Farkas will only have an F slide) – pull slide out and listen for buzz or tone that affects only one side
  4. If no B-flat tuning slide, start with B-flat side
  5. Tune the B-flat side to third space C, using the main tuning slide
  6. Tune the 2nd valve to B
  7. Tune the 1st valve to B-flat
  8. Mark the 1st and 2nd slides with a pencil
  9. Tune 1ST and 2nd to A by pulling 1st slide:2nd slide in a 2:1 ratio (because 1st slide is twice as long, it needs twice as much pull to have the same percentage change as the 2nd valve slide)
  10. Move 1st and 2nd slides halfway back to pencil mark; horn is equally out of tune on 1st, 2nd, and 1&2 – lip can put them in tune
  11. Pencil mark at new position
  12. Tune 3rd valve to A-flat by moving the 3rd slide only
  13. Tune the F side tuning slide so that it matches the B-flat side when the thumb valve is used; (not in tune on Conn 8D)
  14. Tune the F side valve slides so they match the B-flat slides
    or, follow steps 1-7, then
  15. Tune 3rd valve to A and play all A’s 3rd valve; finger facility is not as good
  16. Follow steps 13-14

Reason it’s okay to tune 3rd slide to A-flat:  horn players avoid 13 and 123 combination by switching to thumb-12 and thumb-23 (equivalent of A and A-flat), still have the problem on lowest notes, but they’re rarely played