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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPedagogy(Moderators: JP, Doug Elliott) Tips/Tricks for reading F-horn music?
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davdud101
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« on: Sep 25, 2017, 06:14PM »

I'm gonna be working with a four-man brass section in the coming two months - my on bone, two trumpets and a horn. My Bb reading is fine (and I'll be producing the arrangements) so I should be game for helping my trumpeters out where they need it, but my F-reading is non-existent.

I learned Bb starting 2 or 2.5 years ago when someone here recommended to learn tenor clef and then Bb... has been a HUGE help for me overall because it also opened my eyes to loads of new literature in both Bb and tenor clef, stuff written for trumpet and euph/baritone etc. etc.

But is there some sort of equivalent for F-horn - another C-clef or something? My horn player has even less experience than my trumpeters, and I suspect that she'll need the most amount of help. What can I do to make my F-reading good enough to be useful for her?
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Alex McMahon
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 25, 2017, 07:06PM »

Pretend like your reading bass clef, then move notes up one line or space (up a 2nd), then up an octave, and add a flat to the key signature.
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 25, 2017, 07:27PM »

The classic trick is mezzo-soprano clef plus a flat, which is one up from alto. The movable C clefs are very useful.
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 25, 2017, 08:06PM »

Mezzo-soprano clef works for Horn in F.  In this case the movable C is here:    Note that the Horn player is playing "G" 

Horns and trumpets often were pitched in different keys.  Sometimes music will say something like "Horn in Eb" or "Muta in Eb" in which case the part is for an Eb horn (read bass clef up an octave and add 3 flats).
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 25, 2017, 10:04PM »

The classic trick is mezzo-soprano clef plus a flat, which is one up from alto. The movable C clefs are very useful.
If you are the type of player who turns everything into a C clef this is the best way to go.

I still honestly don't understand how people transpose for each different instrument or move everything up and down X number of steps Amazed
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 26, 2017, 12:10AM »

I find it useful to remember the bottom line is A and the top line is high Bb.  The third space is F.

That's the way I recommend learning any clef.  Start with three notes and gradually add one more at a time.  From there it's easy to figure out most of the ones you don't know yet.

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« Reply #6 on: Sep 26, 2017, 12:41AM »

I find it useful to remember the bottom line is A and the top line is high Bb.  The third space is F.

That's the way I recommend learning any clef.  Start with three notes and gradually add one more at a time.  From there it's easy to figure out most of the ones you don't know yet.



That sounds like a good tips!
 
Im not sure how I learned it but had some F-horn students through the years. (children)So I can in fact read it good enough for home use. I think I learned it because the children I teach often play melodies I have in my head, so its easier to understand the transposing. So some simple melodies could help to learn it.

Leif
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« Reply #7 on: Sep 26, 2017, 03:25AM »

If you are the type of player who turns everything into a C clef this is the best way to go.

I still honestly don't understand how people transpose for each different instrument or move everything up and down X number of steps Amazed


Being an assistant middle school band director I find myself playing over the horns shoulders to help them find their pitch, so I get quite a bit of practice. I've had to figure out quick transpositions for playing/demonstrating when I'm holding any other instrument in my hand.
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« Reply #8 on: Sep 26, 2017, 03:29AM »

Great tips! My son is starting to play horn. This will be very useful when I play along with him.
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davdud101
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« Reply #9 on: Sep 26, 2017, 07:22AM »

If you are the type of player who turns everything into a C clef this is the best way to go.

I still honestly don't understand how people transpose for each different instrument or move everything up and down X number of steps Amazed
For my case, I just learned it from the ground up - note by note. My Bb-reading remains a bit of an amalgamation of tenor clef and Bb, but it leans more towards "real" Bb-reading lately, and thankfully reading tenor clef is a breeze when not having to think about the key signatures beyond what they are written to be.

I do wish I were the kind who could transpose on the fly -

I find it useful to remember the bottom line is A and the top line is high Bb.  The third space is F.

That's the way I recommend learning any clef.  Start with three notes and gradually add one more at a time.  From there it's easy to figure out most of the ones you don't know yet.


That's definitely how I'm going to start. In the past I've found myself starting with 6th grade method books, which often helps getting started with singular notes. I think I'll try sticking with some simple melodies and do some (incredibly light) transcriptions.

At any rate, it should hopefully eventually writing parts for marching French Horn a simpler task (for my "for-fun" home studio projects... rather than writing some parts in Bb and some in bass clef, as I've been doing. Not to mention being a big-time useful tool for helping horn players who might not be so experienced.
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 02, 2017, 08:46AM »

I actually learned how to play horn in high school after I picked up trombone and I learned what the notes were in the harmonic series by ear first by accident - which means I learned it in concert pitch first by accident. That's maybe not the most effective way, but it works for me...
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« Reply #11 on: Oct 02, 2017, 05:41PM »

I actually learned how to play horn in high school after I picked up trombone and I learned what the notes were in the harmonic series by ear first by accident - which means I learned it in concert pitch first by accident. That's maybe not the most effective way, but it works for me...

Thing is, I understand the concert pitches (having played a lot of B.C. euphonium for fun, eventually leading to learning trumpet, acquiring flugel and a marching horn) harmonic series and all of the ear-playing and stuff. My primary aim is to be able to transpose (or just outright naturally READ) F-horn music.
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« Reply #12 on: Oct 03, 2017, 07:41AM »

If you can read treble clef (B flat) trombone parts (like in a British Brass band), you could take a similar approach to B flat trumpet players reading trumpet in F parts (like Mahler etc).  (Move evrything up a fifth).  I've done that, but only works on pretty straightforward parts for me.
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« Reply #13 on: Oct 08, 2017, 08:49AM »

... What can I do to make my F-reading good enough to be useful for her?

Playing F-horn parts on trombone is really fun once you become proficient at it.  No matter which method you use to learn, practice and repetition help.

When my then teenage son needed to learn tenor clef in a hurry I printed up Volume One of my play-along Bordogni book in tenor clef. He knew all the melodies very well, and it seemed like in an hour his slide hand had taught his brain the new clef.

Since then I've made up and published the same Bordogni Vocalises Volume One for Horn in F.  The same accompaniments on CD, with the same 24 exercises, in the same keys en-harmonically, make for good practice!

David
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« Reply #14 on: Oct 22, 2017, 10:42PM »

If you can read treble clef (B flat) trombone parts (like in a British Brass band), you could take a similar approach to B flat trumpet players reading trumpet in F parts (like Mahler etc).  (Move evrything up a fifth).  I've done that, but only works on pretty straightforward parts for me.
I never thought of that! Nice tip! I always thought there weren't any quick tricks like that to learning F treble clef!!!
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