Horn section

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A horn section is a group of musicians playing horns. In an orchestra or concert band, it refers to the musicians who play the "French" horn, and in a British-style brass band it is the tenor horn players. In many popular music genres, the term is applied loosely to any group of woodwind or brass instruments, or a combination of woodwinds and brass.



In a symphony orchestra, the horn section is the group of symphonic musicians who play the French horn (or German horn or Vienna horn). These musicians are typically seated to the back of the ensemble and may be on either side at the director's discretion. Placing them to the left with their bells toward the audience increases the prominence of the section, whereas on the right, the sound reflects off the back of the stage. Most of the time, players are seated right to left from the director's view based on seating, with the principal horn (first horn) being seated on the right and fourth horn seated on the left. The section is ordered in this way so the principal horn may be heard by all players, as the principal sets the timbre and intonation of the section.[ citation needed ]

Horn section of Ojos de Brujo Ojos de brujo 6.jpg
Horn section of Ojos de Brujo

Horn sections are an integral part of musical genres such as jazz, R&B, blues, soul, funk, calypso, Afrobeat, and gospel. Most of these horn sections feature some combination of saxophones, trumpets and trombones. More rarely, other wind or brass instruments such as flute, clarinet or tuba may be added. Other popular musical genres, such as rock, pop, hip-hop, latin, and country music also use horn sections.[ citation needed ] When only woodwinds are involved, the term "reed section" is often used, even when flutes are included ( Anon. 2002 ).

Notable horn sections

Horn sections in blues bands and funk groups may be composed of session musicians playing arranged parts, or they may be a consistent group of musicians. A small number of horn sections use a consistent group of musicians who become well known as a unit.

The horn section for funk band Earth, Wind and Fire. Earth Wind and Fire.jpg
The horn section for funk band Earth, Wind and Fire.

Related Research Articles

French horn Type of brass instrument

The French horn is a brass instrument made of tubing wrapped into a coil with a flared bell. The double horn in F/B is the horn most often used by players in professional orchestras and bands. A musician who plays a horn is known as a horn player or hornist.

In music, a glissando is a glide from one pitch to another. It is an Italianized musical term derived from the French glisser, "to glide". In some contexts, it is distinguished from the continuous portamento. Some colloquial equivalents are slide, sweep, bend, smear, rip, lip, plop, or falling hail.

Musical ensemble Group of people who perform instrumental and/or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name

A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical group, is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name. Some music ensembles consist solely of instruments, such as the jazz quartet or the orchestra. Other music ensembles consist solely of singers, such as choirs and doo wop groups. In both popular music and classical music, there are ensembles in which both instrumentalists and singers perform, such as the rock band or the Baroque chamber group for basso continuo and one or more singers. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles. Some ensembles blend the sounds of a variety of instrument families, such as the orchestra, which uses a string section, brass instruments, woodwinds and percussion instruments, or the concert band, which uses brass, woodwinds and percussion.

Orchestra Large instrumental ensemble

An orchestra is a large instrumental ensemble typical of classical music, which combines instruments from different families, including

Saxophone type of musical instrument of the woodwind family

The saxophone is a type of single-reed woodwind instrument with a conical body, usually made of brass. As with all single-reed instruments, sound is produced when a cane reed on a mouthpiece vibrates to produce a sound wave inside the instrument's body. The pitch is controlled by opening and closing holes in the body to change the effective length of the tube. The holes are closed by leather pads attached to keys operated by the player. Saxophones are made in various sizes and are almost always treated as transposing instruments. Saxophone players are called saxophonists.

Woodwind instrument Family of musical wind instruments

Woodwind instruments are a family of musical instruments within the more general category of wind instruments. Common examples include flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and saxophone. There are two main types of woodwind instruments: flutes and reed instruments. The main distinction between these instruments and other wind instruments is the way in which they produce sound. All woodwinds produce sound by splitting the air blown into them on a sharp edge, such as a reed or a fipple. Despite the name, a woodwind may be made of any material, not just wood. Common examples include brass, silver, cane, as well as other metals such as gold and platinum. The saxophone, for example, though made of brass, is considered a woodwind because it requires a reed to produce sound. Occasionally, woodwinds are made out of earthen materials, especially ocarinas.

Orchestration Study or practice of writing music for an orchestra

Orchestration is the study or practice of writing music for an orchestra or of adapting music composed for another medium for an orchestra. Also called "instrumentation", orchestration is the assignment of different instruments to play the different parts of a musical work. For example, a work for solo piano could be adapted and orchestrated so that an orchestra could perform the piece, or a concert band piece could be orchestrated for a symphony orchestra.

Musical composition Original piece or work of music, either vocal or instrumental, the structure of a musical piece

Musical composition, music composition or simply composition, can refer to an original piece or work of music, either vocal or instrumental, the structure of a musical piece or to the process of creating or writing a new piece of music. People who create new compositions are called composers. Composers of primarily songs are usually called songwriters; with songs, the person who writes lyrics for a song is the lyricist. In many cultures, including Western classical music, the act of composing typically includes the creation of music notation, such as a sheet music "score," which is then performed by the composer or by other musicians. In popular music and traditional music, songwriting may involve the creation of a basic outline of the song, called the lead sheet, which sets out the melody, lyrics and chord progression. In classical music, orchestration is typically done by the composer, but in musical theatre and in pop music, songwriters may hire an arranger to do the orchestration. In some cases, a pop or traditional songwriter may not use written notation at all and instead compose the song in their mind and then play, sing or record it from memory. In jazz and popular music, notable sound recordings by influential performers are given the weight that written or printed scores play in classical music.

Reed (mouthpiece)

A reed is a thin strip of material that vibrates to produce a sound on a musical instrument. Most woodwind instrument reeds are made from Arundo donax or synthetic material. Tuned reeds are made of metal or synthetics. Musical instruments are classified according to the type and number of reeds.

Baritone saxophone

The baritone saxophone is a member of the saxophone family of instruments, larger than the tenor saxophone, but smaller than the bass. It is the lowest-pitched saxophone in common use - the bass, contrabass and subcontrabass saxophones are relatively uncommon. Like all saxophones, it is a single-reed instrument. It is commonly used in concert bands, chamber music, military bands, big bands, and jazz combos. It can also be found in other ensembles such as rock bands and marching bands. Modern baritone saxophones are pitched in E.

Multi-instrumentalist Musician who plays multiple musical instruments

A multi-instrumentalist is a musician who plays two or more musical instruments at a professional level of proficiency.

Pit orchestra

A pit orchestra is a type of orchestra that accompanies performers in musicals, operas, ballets, and other shows involving music. The terms was also used for orchestras accompanying silent movies when more than a piano was used. In performances of operas and ballets, the pit orchestra is typically similar in size to a symphony orchestra, though it may contain smaller string and brass sections, depending upon the piece. Such orchestras may vary in size from approximately 30 musicians to as many as 90–100 musicians. However, because of financial, space, and volume concerns, the musical theatre pit orchestra in the 2000s is considerably smaller.

A multiphonic is an extended technique on a monophonic musical instrument in which several notes are produced at once. This includes wind, reed, and brass instruments, as well as the human voice. Multiphonic-like sounds on string instruments, both bowed and hammered, have also been called multiphonics, for lack of better terminology and scarcity of research.

In music, instrumentation is the particular combination of musical instruments employed in a composition, and the properties of those instruments individually. Instrumentation is sometimes used as a synonym for orchestration. This juxtaposition of the two terms was first made in 1843 by Hector Berlioz in his Grand traité d'instrumentation et d'orchestration modernes, and various attempts have since been made to differentiate them. Instrumentation is a more general term referring to an orchestrator's, composer's or arranger's selection of instruments in varying combinations, or even a choice made by the performers for a particular performance, as opposed to the narrower sense of orchestration, which is the act of scoring for orchestra a work originally written for a solo instrument or smaller group of instruments.

Trio (music)

In music, a trio is 1) a composition for three performers or three musical parts, 2) in larger works the middle section of a ternary form, which was in history often a trio composition instruments, and 3) an ensemble of three instruments or voices performing trio compositions.

Classical music Broad tradition of Western art music

Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. Historically, the term 'classical music' refers specifically to the musical period from 1750 to 1820. In a more general sense classical music refers to Western musical traditions considered to be apart from or a refinement of western folk music traditions and encompasses the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods. The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1650 and 1900, which is known as the common-practice period.

Wind instrument Class of musical instruments with air resonator

A wind instrument is a musical instrument that contains some type of resonator in which a column of air is set into vibration by the player blowing into a mouthpiece set at or near the end of the resonator. The pitch of the vibration is determined by the length of the tube and by manual modifications of the effective length of the vibrating column of air. In the case of some wind instruments, sound is produced by blowing through a reed; others require buzzing into a metal mouthpiece, while yet others require the player to blow into a hole at an edge, which splits the air column and creates the sound.

A woodwind doubler is a musician who can play two or more instruments from the six woodwind families or other folk or ethnic woodwind instruments, and can play more than one instrument during a performance. A player who plays two instruments from the same family is also often considered a woodwind doubler, but is usually paid less than a player who plays instruments from different families.

The woodwind section, which consists of woodwind instruments, is one of the main sections of an orchestra or concert band. Woodwind sections contain instruments given Hornbostel-Sachs classifications of 421 and 422, but exclude 423

Military and Processional music

Military and processional music was designed to fulfil necessary functions in a military environment, and accompanies pageants, parades, ceremonies, processions.