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The French Horn...

A complex, tangled mess of an instrument. An instrument so inefficiently designed that its sole purpose often appears to be to confuse and frustrate. Why bother at all with the most troublesome of brass instruments?


Well, because of the quite wonderful pay-off: its glorious sound.


In this book, Richard Steggall systematically untangles the French Horn’s web of mystery, one strand at a time.


Available in physical or digital form, this unique and groundbreaking manual will give you the understanding needed to approach the French horn with confidence and clarity. 

In short...

Don’t Fear the Horn!





'I was delighted to be asked to review this excellent book as it fills a very long-felt need for brass and horn teachers. There is no doubt that in the current state of music education, with large group teaching and non-specialist teachers, the horn has come increasingly to be seen as something of a nuisance. I know from many conversations with brass teaching colleagues, and the frequency of requests for advice on what to do with their horn students, that many non-horn specialists genuinely find the prospect of teaching the horn a real worry. As a result we are suffering a decline in numbers taking up the horn. Richard’s book is a wonderful resource which, as its title suggests, aims to demystify the horn and equip such teachers with the wherewithal to approach teaching it.


Crammed full of clear, sensible and carefully considered advice it covers all the major areas one would expect: instrument choice, embouchure, posture, right-hand position and much, much more, and is extremely well – and amusingly – written. It is also profusely illustrated, and the combination should help any aspiring brass teacher to make more sense of our instruments special qualities and needs. It should certainly be required reading for any brass teacher.


There is also admirable advice – allied to an excellent potted history of the horn and its place in the orchestra – for anyone coaching horn sections, and thoughts on how best to work with horns in mixed-instrument teaching groups. Even horn players themselves, whether teaching or not, will find much fascinating material to ponder here. The chapters dealing with the right-hand position and hand-stopping for instance, whilst requiring careful and attentive study, are the clearest exposition of the way the horn actually works and the effects of the hand on pitch and tone I’ve ever read. Indeed, the clearest I’ve seen since Pip Eastop’s remarkable lecture at the BHS Festival at Dulwich College, and any horn player will find many other parts of the book equally thought-provoking. 


I really cannot recommend this book highly enough and Richard is to be congratulated and thanked for adding such a splendid resource to the brass and horn players’ armoury.'


Simon de SouzaThe Horn Player magazine



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