Horn Technique

Horn Technique

Horn Technique

Horn Technique

Synopsis

Gunther Schuller is a well-known composer, conductor, educator, and author of books on jazz; his remarkable career also includes playing in the horn section of the Cincinnati Symphony while still in his teens and in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra as Principal Horn from 1945 to 1959. First published in 1962, this revised edition of his classic book to horn playing includes an extensive guide to the literature for the instrument, with listings of more than 1,000 pieces from the solo, chamber, and orchestral repertory.

Excerpt

Much has changed in the intervening years since Horn Technique was first published in 1962. the performance standards of horn playing have risen to astonishing heights; the technical virtuosity of horn players all over the world has gone beyond anything players of my generation or before could have even dreamed of (consider the breathtaking performances of 'for James' Carnival of Venice or the astounding jazz improvisations of Rick Todd and John Clarke); the return of the natural horn, led by such as Hermann Baumann (as part of the period instrument movement); the establishment of horn manufacturers (like Paxman) that didn't even exist in my time, and as a corollary the ingenious invention of all kinds of 'new' double and triple horn combinations; the full emergence of the descant horn; the composition and publication of literally thousands of new works for the horn--not all of them masterpieces assuredly, but none the less for the most part a highly respectable literature; the emergence of concertizing career soloists (Barry Tuckwell, Hermann Baumann, young Eric Ruske, to name but a very few); the dramatic advances in jazz horn playing in the last two decades; the proliferation of Horn Workshops worldwide and the creation of the International Horn Society; the dramatic increase in the number of women horn players, many of them extraordinarily gifted; and finally the recording of hundreds of baroque and early classical works which were not even known nor available, let alone contemplated for performance (or recording) back in the 1950s and 1960s. Some things have not changed, of course. the horn is still, when all is said and done, 'a devilishly difficult instrument' to master, and most of the technical and musical problems, questions, and issues discussed in the 1962 edition of Horn Technique are still valid subjects of inquiry and analysis, especially on the musical side.

What has fascinated me most particularly among all these . . .

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