Help, please!

    
Help, please!    09:56 on Wednesday, July 20, 2016          

cymusician
(2 points)
Posted by cymusician

As part of my school's recent instrument drive, I acquired an unlabeled French horn. The barely visible brand marking on the bottom has it as a Pan American from Elkhart (Conn's second-line brand,) and the first valve serial number reads 213957.

The thing is.....I think this is a horn in Eb. I played the open C overtone series from low G up to high C (2.5 octaves,) and even with every slide pushed in and my hand out of the bell, the pitches lined up with a concert E flat series instead of F. It plays pretty well and in tune with itself, and it looks almost exactly like my normal F horns.

One difference is that the tuning slide is doubled up. I found that there may be such a thing as an Eb tuning slide (like a crook, I'm guessing.) Would this be the culprit?!?! If so, where could I buy an F tuning slide?

So.....What am I dealing with here? I've found nothing online about this. Do I just transpose everything up a step to play with my students? Thank you!


Re: Help, please!    13:09 on Thursday, August 4, 2016          

phred
(157 points)
Posted by phred

A large percentage (possibly the majority) of band horns, especially aimed at schools, came with an Eb crook. This allowed for easy transposition to a key that a tone of band music is written in (or at least a related key). The F crook was probably lost at some time. Since it is old, you probably would only be able to replace by buying another horn! HA! But, I recently had some slide work done on a really top notch horn I own, including recreating a slide. My local tech charged me 45 bucks to build a slide from his highest grade alloys. So... you might be able to salvage it!


Re: Help, please!    13:18 on Thursday, August 4, 2016          

cymusician
(2 points)
Posted by cymusician

Phred, thanks so much for that. As it turns out, after some serious sleuthing (and assistance from ASU's Dr. John Ericson, who was a great help,) your hypothesis was correct. Aside from teaching my kids to transpose everything on the horn up a step (because let's face it - there's very little young band music written for horn in Eb!), the instrument would be useless.

CUE CRAZY BAND DIRECTOR STORY: A few hours after realizing my situation, I was searching in a desk drawer of old assorted things for something unrelated. What did I find in the back but a discarded old F tuning slide that fit perfectly! Providence, say I!


Re: Help, please!    19:27 on Thursday, August 4, 2016          

phred
(157 points)
Posted by phred

Those various lines put out by the big American companies prior to about 1960 frequently used nearly identical bending jigs. Sometimes it was just a matter of materials and valves. Glad that worked out. Horn is such an expensive instrument, and too bad that I've yet to run into one at a price that a family can afford and it still plays well. I've played a few Lidl and Paxman "student" models that I think are really damn decent, but they're also more than anyone I've run into wants to pay for a beginner's instrument.


Re: Help, please!    16:14 on Monday, August 15, 2016          

VerlaCorrea54
(28 points)
Posted by VerlaCorrea54

Yea! Why is that? Horns are SUPER expensive!


   




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