I helped out with a mass first band lesson on Monday night this week. I actually managed to get a room full of horn players. One of them had a 3/4 size horn. I didn't have much time to look at it, so all I could tell was that it was wrapped tighter and had (I think) a slightly smaller bell. It is in F. I played a few notes on it, and was able to get a much bigger range than she will need in the first year or two. However, the tuning felt a little weird. I told the student's mother that it probably wouldn't be too much of a problem- after all, tuning doesn't really exist at this level. She is renting this horn and will be able to put the money towards a double horn later (hopefully after only 1 year). The student is very small, so the horn did appear to be more comfortable for her to hold than a normal single F horn was for a similarly sized girl in that same group.

My questions are: has anyone seen a horn like this before? Who makes them? Are they any good? Why would you choose that over a normal single F horn if you had the choice (this student actually didn't really; the demand for rental horns is very high locally this year)? Any other general comments about these instruments?

This was a terribly cute instrument, I must admit, but I'm not sure that it's something that I would recommend. She'll probably be fine, since she's planning on getting a real horn ASAP. I was just curious.

Christy Tucker
I know that Hoyer makes these kind of horns. They make both tight wrapped F and Bb horns for the very young.
Sander Gielen
I don't know who makes the particular horn you saw. There was some discussion on the list a year or two ago about smaller wrapped horns. I believe the ones discussed were European, but don't remember the make. Anyone else remember?

At the IHS workshop in Rochester, Holton had a prototypes of a single F horn with a tighter wrap. I tried them, and they were nice single horns. FWIW, I would say that they played just as well as the F side of my H281.

I would think they would be great for beginning students, especially if the student was small. I have seen all kinds of tricks used for small students -- resting the bell on the chair, using the right hand to hold the edge of the bell, etc. Maybe it would be possible for more kids to hold the horn in a more normal position. Never ran into these problems myself, because I started on cornet and didn't switch to horn until I was 13.

Guess it's probably OK if you are going to start on a single, as any kid who sticks with it will probably switch to a double anyway. This could be a good thing for elementary schools, but I would guess that by Jr. High most kids play doubles anyway.

Jonell Lindholm
This past June at the IHS workshop in Rochester, Holton displayed two new small sized horns, a single F and a single Bb.
Charles Turner
My 11 year old son played on a 3/4 sized horn vor the first four years from age 6 - 9. It was an excellent instrument, with good intonation. He is not particularly tall, and would have had problems with holding a "normal" F-Horn comfortably, to say nothing of posture (breath control!). It was good enough for him to win a big prize in a German National Music competition last year, so I guess the idea can be recommended. He changed to a "normal" F-Horn last year, and has just started with his first double horn with problems connected with the change. Hope this helps. For further Info e-mail me.
Mike Duffin
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