Natural Horn

Natural Horn The revival of historical instruments and the performance of period music has become an influential force in classical music during the past 50 years. This influence has impacted musicians' practices and techniques but, more importantly, “historically-informed performance” has altered ways in which we all hear this music, whether the response to it is positive or negative.

Horns made up to the middle of the nineteenth century are called "natural horns" because of their simplistic structure, which consists of a large bell, a single coiled tube, and a mouthpiece.

The pitch of this type of instrument can only be changed by changing the vibration of the lips, and even then it is only possible to produce a tone referred to as a "natural harmonic." This of course means that it cannot play musical scales. This state of affairs drove the players of the horn to think of sticking a hand in the bell to produce a tone other than this natural harmonic. This way of playing the horn, called the "hand-stopping technique" developed among horn players in the eighteenth century.