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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Applying Natural Horn Technique to Modern Valved Horn Performance Practice
by Wick, Heidi F., D.M.A., The Ohio State University, 2001, 105; 10835988
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study is to recognize and explore the use of natural horn techniques in modern horn playing. Music composed for the horn by the great Classicists, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, contains subtleties for the valveless instrument that can sometimes be accomplished with the valved horn. Natural horn techniques applied to the modern valved horn can also be used in literature intended for the valved instrument. Of the compositions originally written for valved horn, I consider two categories: pieces in which the composer 1) directs the performer to use a natural horn technique, and 2) does not direct such a technique but where the use of the technique can enhance the effect intended by the composer. This document examines the use of techniques specific to the natural horn applied to modern valved horn performance in selected repertoire from the 18th through 20th centuries. Natural horn techniques explored in this document include right hand movements, embouchure flexibility and facility, ornamentation fluidity, oral cavity adjustments, and air stream usage. Also explored are the effects associated with natural horn technique: natural harmonic intonation and varied timbres.

This work is founded in my studies of the natural horn and the valved horn. These studies have been four-fold: 1) through listening to excellent natural horn artists, 2) by reading and using the tutors of the great natural horn teachers, 3) through private lessons and masterclasses on natural horn with Richard Serpahinoff at Indiana University and on valved horn with Charles Waddell at The Ohio State University, 4) by performing great literature on each horn. This document also includes a performance practice survey of professional horn players from the United States and Europe who have developed natural horn techniques.

Developing advanced technique on each instrument can enliven the performers interpretation. An increased awareness of timbre and harmonic structure as related to crooks/keys and a heightened knowledge of the harmonic series and its pitch tendencies result when interconnecting these instruments. By developing extended techniques through direct experience with the natural horn and its literature, horn players can come to know not only an increased technical facility but also the historical context of their instrument. It is my hope that we, as modern valved horn players, continue to develop the versatility of our instrument. Many of the expressions presented in this document encourage the lyrical and vocal styles in our playing that were so admired in the artistry of the greatest 18 th and 19th-century horn virtuosi.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Waddell, Charles
School: The Ohio State University
Department: Music
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music
Keywords: Hand horn, Horn (musical instrument), Natural harmonic intonation, Natural horn technique, Performance practice, Valved horn technique
Publication Number: 10835988
ISBN: 978-0-355-97173-6
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