English horn: Descriptions And History

English horn

Contextual Associations

The English horn is a cease-blown conical-bore double-reed aerophone evolved in Europe; however this is these days discovered allotted for the duration of the sector anywhere Western cosmopolitanism has taken root. It is performed on the whole with the aid of using specialists however additionally with the aid of using amateurs. 

The English horn (additionally known as the cor anglais) is from time to time defined as a tenor oboe as it stocks many information of layout with its smaller counterpart however is pitched in F a 5th beneath it. It is basically an auxiliary tool commonly performed with the aid of using an oboist in an orchestra (despite the fact that a few expert orchestras may have a expert in this tool), live performance band, or chamber ensemble, used best whilst a composer has written a passage mainly for the tool. There does now no longer exist a great repertoire of solo or chamber tune written expressly for the English horn. It is consequently now no longer an critical recital tool and is seldom heard even at tertiary instructional establishments wherein maximum oboists earn their overall performance degrees.

Description of English horn

The frame of the English horn is made in 3 sections–top frame, decrease frame, and bell sections–which can be linked with the aid of using steel-coated tenon-and-socket joints. The top frame joint of the tool pictured right here is a product of resin, the decreased  sections from hardwood. It has a on the whole conical bore with its smallest diameter on the pinnacle or reed cease of the frame and its finest diameter with inside the bell phase wherein there may be a mild ballooning simply earlier than the bell establishing (this extraordinary bulbous bell is from time to time defined as ‘pear formed’). One cease of a removable steel tube (known as a criminal or bocal) that has a mild bend given to it’s miles wrapped with a skinny layer of cork and inserted right into a countersunk hollow on the pinnacle cease of the top frame joint; this tube serves as an extension of the tool’s conical bore. 

Twenty-one holes of various sizes are located in acoustically perfect places alongside the duration of the frame. All of those are operated with padded keys–now no longer an unmarried hollow is closed without delay with a fingertip of the player. A complicated mechanical keywork device regarding springs, levers, rod-axles, mounts, and keys crafted from nickel silver lets in the performer to cowl and discover remotely positioned tone holes that might in any other case be not possible to attain given the anatomy of the human hand. 

The tool’s double reed is crafted from a protracted and slender strip from the wall of a stalk of cane that is folded at its middle, its  ends are then certain with a great wire to a steel tube (known as a staple). The fold is then trimmed off, leaving an elliptical establishment. The blades that articulate this establishment are then shaved and formed till very thin. The base of the staple slips over the pinnacle of the bocal.

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Player – Instrument Interface and Sound Production

The player, both status or seated, holds the tool vertically in the front of himself or herself with each palms, left hand at the top frame joint and the proper hand at the lower one. The reed is inserted into the mouth and pressed among the lips using the embouchure muscle mass. These muscle mass assist form the elliptical establishing on the tip of the reed, and it’s miles the movement of the top in reaction to the airstream directed towards it that generates the sound wave paperwork with inside the bore of the tool. The player’s left hand thumb and all of the hands on each palms are used to function the keys and key levers discovered at the tool; the proper hand thumb, located at the again facet simply beneath a thumb rest, allows consistent use of the tool and soak up an awful lot of its weight. 

The tool capabilities acoustically as an open tube, which means that it overblows at each harmonic partial (beginning on the octave). With all of the finger holes included the bottom sounding pitch is E3; its maximum viable pitch relies upon the performer, however D6 could be practicable with the aid of using specialists. Its compass is consequently simply below 3 octaves, and over this variety it’s miles absolutely chromatic. It is a transposing tool notated a 5th better than it sounds. In the latter part of the 20th century, composers and performers have experimented with new strategies for the English horn along with the manufacturing of multiphonics, quarter- and micro-tones, and making a song and gambling simultaneously. For a video illustrating the player-tool interface for this tool, view the Philharmonia Orchestra internet site bankruptcy at the English horn.


Precursors of the present day English horn existed with inside the past due seventeenth century, and due to the fact their extensively gapped finger holes have been fingered without delay their timber our bodies regularly protected one or  bends. In the early 18th century and into the nineteenth century the English horn became discovered more often than not in army bands and in double-reed ensembles of the French royalty. It wasn’t till the primary 1/2 of the nineteenth century that straight-bodied English horns were designed, and till the Eighteen Eighties that they were ready with a keyword device like that visible at the tool pictured right here.

In the course of the nineteenth century the English horn got here to be an increasing number related to the orchestra and much less so with the army band.

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