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Author Topic: Eb Alto Horn  (Read 6620 times)
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windofdeth

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« on: Apr 14, 2006, 09:04AM »

I got my dad an Eb alto horn for his b-day last year. we haven't quitre figured out how it works. somone in my band told my that its alot like trombone except with valves. is this true? if anyone here can play the alto horn or the (peck horn) i would much appreciate any info you have.
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What do the letters pp mean to a trombone player?

1. An opportunity for an improvised solo.

2. A polite reminder that he has been playing too loud for the past 5 minutes.
BGuttman
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 14, 2006, 09:33AM »

A "Peck Horn" is an instrument pitched in Eb above Bb.  The lowest open note (non-pedal) is   b .  It uses a mouthpiece a little larger than a trumpet but much smaller than a trombone.  The shank is larger than a trumpet and smaller than a trombone as well.

There are three valves that work exactly like a trumpet, baritone, or tuba.  The first valve lowers the pitch by 1 whole step, the second valve by 1 half step, and the third valve by 1 1/2 whole steps (equal to 1 and 2 together).

The music is written in treble clef as a transposed part.  The note I mentioned in the first paragraph is always notated as C:     .  It will sound as Eb.

Once you can get a buzz on the alto horn mouthpiece, you can then use the same methods to learn the valves as you would for any trumpet.  Maybe start out with Tune a Day and go on to Arban's.  Remember, if you are checking pitch with a trombone or piano, the alto horn reads a different note from what sounds.

The nice thing is once your dad learns to play the alto horn properly, you can play duets together reading the same parts.  It turns out that the transposed Eb alto parts lie on the same places of the staff as untransposed bass clef parts.  To try to illustrate, if the Eb alto horn plays a C:      it comes out as Eb, an octave above     .  The only complication is that the Eb alto part key signature has 3 less flats or 3 more sharps than the bass clef, and accidentals have to be resolved.  For example, if you are reading an alto part and see a G#:     , and you think "trombone reads bass clef, and this is a B", the sharp is actually a natural and you would play B natural     .

In bands, alto horn parts were named "peck horn" parts because in most pieces the tuba plays on-beats and the Eb alto plays the off-beats or "pecks".  Alto horns have mostly been replaced by French Horns in most bands and the French Horn parts are written in F.  Most good French Horn players learn to transpose and so reading Eb alto horn parts becomes second nature to them.  Reading a French Horn in F part on the Eb Alto is a little more problematic, and will take some time.

I know this is a lot to take in.  Feel free to check back from time to time with more questions.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #2 on: Apr 24, 2006, 06:27AM »

A note of interest, the Eb Alto Horn is called an Eb Tenor Horn is british brass band circles. In England and Australia, it is a tenor horn, in America and i think Europe it is the alto horn.
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windofdeth

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« Reply #3 on: Apr 24, 2006, 04:24PM »

ok, is there any kind of music math chart or somthing? like   C =   Eb . I need one for at least a few scales. Its kinda hard to understand.  Confused  Confused  i don't know im just not gettin it Don't know
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What do the letters pp mean to a trombone player?

1. An opportunity for an improvised solo.

2. A polite reminder that he has been playing too loud for the past 5 minutes.
JohnL
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« Reply #4 on: Apr 24, 2006, 07:50PM »

OK, if you're looking for a fingering chart for playing Eb treble clef music, you just use the same fingerings as a Bb trumpet playing Bb treble.

Here's a fingering chart for mellophone that will work:
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Square/3620/mello6.html
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windofdeth

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« Reply #5 on: Apr 25, 2006, 08:02PM »

thanks that helped a little but what a really need is somthing like a musical calculator. see i need to be able to read Eb Alto Horn parts as Trombone parts. Also another question has raised its ugly little head, how does one tune this thing? Confused  Do you tune it to a trumpets C playing the alotos C? I don't know. what i do know is that this is getting really confusing! Confused  Don't know
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What do the letters pp mean to a trombone player?

1. An opportunity for an improvised solo.

2. A polite reminder that he has been playing too loud for the past 5 minutes.
BFW
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« Reply #6 on: Apr 25, 2006, 08:50PM »

Quote from: "windofdeth"
see i need to be able to read Eb Alto Horn parts as Trombone parts.


Ah!  Different question entirely.  I assume you mean you'll read treble clef Eb transposed parts on a trombone.  Then   needs to be an Eb.  Since   is an E in bass clef, just pretend it's bass clef and add three flats to the key signature.  There will be some adjustment of some accidentals, but that's the basic technique.

Quote
Also another question has raised its ugly little head, how does one tune this thing? Confused  Do you tune it to a trumpets C playing the altos C?


Assuming that you're talking about players used to playing from the typical transposed parts, a Bb trumpet's "C" will be a Bb.  An Eb alto horn's "C" will be an Eb, and its "G" will be a Bb.  So tune the "G" to the trumpet "C".
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JohnL
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« Reply #7 on: Apr 26, 2006, 05:03PM »

As BFW pointed out, it is (in theory) just a matter of adjusting the key by adding three flats (or subtracting three sharps). Actually, I think there's also an octave that has to be dealt with, as well. Here's a really nasty attempt at a conversion:
Eb treble for alto = trombone
     (C) = b (Eb)
    # (C#/Db) =     (E)
    (D) =   (F)
    # (D#/Eb) =     # (F#/Gb)
    (E) =   (G)
     (F) =     b (G#/Ab)
    # (F#/Gb) =      (A)
     (G) =     b (A#/Bb)
    # (G#/Ab) =     (B)
    (A) =     (C)
    # (A#/Bb) =     # (C#/Db)
    (B) =     (D) up one octave (   )
    (C) =     b (Eb) up one octave (   b)

That's an octave's worth; you should be able to extrapolate from there.
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windofdeth

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« Reply #8 on: Apr 28, 2006, 09:14AM »

Grin  Grin  Thank you!
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What do the letters pp mean to a trombone player?

1. An opportunity for an improvised solo.

2. A polite reminder that he has been playing too loud for the past 5 minutes.
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