French Horn

- Click here for the scale sheets for the French Horn -

The French Horn is the instrument that connects the brass with the reed instruments. It can play in both brass choirs and reed choirs.

Long before the modern double horn became established, the instrument that was widely used by professional players was pitched in a single key, either F, or, later, B. The single course of tubing made it very light and easy to handle and, because the tubing was less twisted and there was a well-balanced relationship between its diameter and the expansion of the bell, a good sound was easier to produce. The single horn, particularly the version in B, therefore survived for a long time, even after the establishment of the double horn. One problem with the single horn is the tendency for the pitch of hand-stopped notes to rise because of the effective shortening of the tubing that results. While on the horn in F the pitch rises by a semitone, on the B instrument this shortening is quite excessive, and a correcting valve to lower the pitch by three-quarters of a tone is required. Eventually some makers preferred to add a further section of tubing (and the corresponding valve) to the B instrument, to obtain the partials of a horn in F.


Bb Major
G Minor

F Major
D Minor

C Major
A Minor

G Major
E Minor

D Major
B Minor

A Major
F# Minor

E Major
C# Minor

B Major
D# Minor

Gb Major
Eb Minor

Db Major
Bb Minor

Ab Major
F Minor

Eb Major
C Minor