French Horn/F horn?


Ok Alan...Found this 'F' horn w/ what you describe as having a stop valve or 'A' valve... I've bid on it to hopefully add to my collection. Could you explain to me again how to use this 4th valve? Will I need to learn any new fingerings. Why do they even have a 4th valve? Is the fingering the same as the 'F' horn w/out that 4th valve? I know that the 'Bb', 4 valve horn that I got earlier is very confusing to play. Here is a picture of it at e-bay auction... Thanks again!

Hi, it's a strange one. It's very unusual to find an F single with a 4th valve. Given the very unusual loops on the tuning slide, I'd say it was either it was a one-off built to order, taking a 4-valve Bb single design and adding enough extra coils to put it into F, along with a set of F valve slides. Or it was originally a Bb single which has been subsequently modified in the same way.

Whatever its history, it's just a single F horn and so will give you plenty of challenges in the high register...  the 4th valve is just another semitone valve and will just be used to save bothering to transpose down a semitone, whether for handstopping or for playing horn in E. Or you can invent some new and unnecessary fingerings for all sorts of notes using it. For instance you could play all 1st valve notes on 2&4... why you would want to, I'm not sure.


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Alan Jones


Can answer just about anything on playing the horn, repertoire, buying instruments, repairs, care and maintenance


25 years of professional playing and teaching in the UK


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