What Are the Pieces of a French Horn?

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A few of the pieces of a French horn include the mouthpiece, the lead pipe, the body of the horn, the valve section, the bell stem and the bell flick. Understand the anatomy of a French horn with help from an experienced musician and music instructor in this free video on brass instruments.

Part of the Video Series: The French Horn
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Video Transcript

What are the parts of a French horn? This is Dr. Steven Gross, Horn professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara and director of the Wind Brass and Percussion Program. The parts of a French horn are as follows. First of all, the mouthpiece, the detachable part of the horn that you can carry with you. The next part is called the Lead Pipe, it is the connection between the mouthpiece and the Corpus or the body of the horn. The next section that's important is the Valve section here, the Valves either add or cut off these sections of tuning here, producing different notes. Then we have going out from the instrument, Branch here and then we have the Bell Stem which connects out to the Bell Flick. Some horns come equipped with detachable bells or screw in bell. As you can see, you can detach these and put these in a small case like this and take on to an airplane, and that's also handy for all sorts of other things too. Now the valves are the most sensitive part of the instrument. Rotary valves which go like this are considered more touchy then the cylindrical pump or piston valves which are featured in trumpets. Do not take these out on your own, always go to repair men or someone who's very, very knowledgeable about valves. You can take off the valve cap and you can put oil here to oil the rotors. On the other side, what we have is the valve assembly. When we push down the valve, it operates the lever which is connected by a string to this little guy, right here which usually goes on rubber or cork bumpers. That's part of the valve, Rotary valve which adds or cuts off a certain amount of air.


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