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College of Arts and Humanities

Entrance Standards, Horn

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Transfer Students
Following is a list of standards for each of the levels of horn study at CWU. Transfer students who have horn as their major instrument will be placed at an applied level that is based on their skill achievement.

More information and specific details may be obtained by contacting Dr. Jeffrey Snedeker at 509-963-1226 or

"The man who think he can
and the man who thinks he can't are both right"

- Henry Ford

Music 164 | Music 264 | Music 364 | Music 464 | Music 564

Music 164

For Horn Students Pursuing a Performance Degree

If you would like to audition for admission to the BM in Performance, we recommend preparing and performing a solo that best demonstrates your current skills.  It is desirable to choose a piece that is competitive at the district or (preferably) state contest level, emphasizing both musical and technical capabilities. Though there are many pieces that are technically and musically more difficult than the list below, we suggest only that you choose carefully so as to present what you do well, not what you have yet to learn. If you have any questions about audition repertoire, please email Dr. Jeffrey Snedeker or phone 509-963-1226.

  • The first movement of any Mozart concerto, especially Nos. 2, 3, or 4
  • A movement or two from any concerto by Richard or Franz Strauss
  • Movement 1 or 3 from Sonata in F major by Beethoven
  • Concert piece (aka Morceau de Concert), op. 94 by Saint-Saens.
  • Sonata No. 2 by Luigi Cherubini
  • Villanelle by Paul Dukas
  • En Foret by Eugene Bozza


  1. A solo that demonstrates the student's highest level of technical and musical achievement.

For Horn Students Pursuing a Music Ed. or Composition Degree
In general, there is no difference in the expectations of performance level for any music major, but those who wish to major in music education, but may feel under-prepared or insecure about their current performance skills, may choose a piece of music that demonstrates either musical or
technical skills, e.g.:

  • Slow or less technically difficult movements from any of the pieces listed above (e.g., Mozart, Strauss, Saint Saens)
  • Shorter, single movement pieces that demonstrate some musical capabilities (e.g.,
  • Gliere Intermezzo or Nocturne
  • Glazunov Reverie
  • Saint Saens Romance, op. 36
  • Effinger Rondo
  • F. Strauss Les Adieux


  1. A solo that demonstrates the student's highest level of technical and musical achievement. 

      Level change jury (100 - 200)

  1. Solo equivalent to Mozart/Strauss first movement (St. Saens, Beethoven)
  2. 3-4 excerpts, 1 transposed
  3. Scales: all major, two octaves, eighth notes (quarter = 120)
  4. Sight reading
  5. First-year portfolio
    1. repertoire sheets, including lessons and studio class participation
    2. programs or records of performances
    3. Record/written account and assessment of checklist items

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Music 264


  • Understand places of tension and relaxation in tone production
  • Awareness of embouchure issues
  • Hold instrument, esp. Right hand position; Sitting and Standing
  • Knowledge of different Harmonic Series on instrument (concert and notated pitches; beginning understanding of alternate fingerings)

Technical Skills

  • Range: Relaxed, open tone from low C to high G. Total desirable range low, low F to high Bb
  • Scales and Arpeggios-- all major: two octaves-- all; three octaves-- low low F to Bb
  • Patterns: straight (2 octaves, 1-5, 1-8), thirds, step progression, expanding intervals
  • Articulation (exercises from Arban)
    • single tonguing-- 16ths at quarter = 100
    • double tonguing-- 16ths at quarter = 120
    • understanding of triple tonguing
  • Trills: understanding of notation; lip vs. finger (recognition and execution); Trill Ex. 1 and 2 (packet)
    • Stopped horn (Getchell exercises)
    • Demonstrate understanding of desirable tone quality
    • Demonstrate understanding of transposition and acoustical properties
    • Demonstrate basic fingerings and ability to develop options
    • Demonstrate solid tone production from middle C upwards
  • Slurring: Demonstrate clean slurring within octave (minimum)
  • Rhythm: Demonstrate clear distinction in performance between duple and triple rhythms (including dotted eighth-sixteenth vs. quarter-eighth triplet); Able to comprehend and perform compound meters
  • Improvisation: Improvise on a simple melody (e.g., Mary had a Little Lamb)
  • Memorization: perform one piece in studio or recital hour
  • Warm-up: Develop routine (min 30 minutes), including long tones, slurs, scales/arpeggios, articulation.


  • Exposure to Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th C. styles
  • Accompanied and unaccompanied literature
  • Name recognition (timetable)
  • Read representative repertoire
  • Work on at least one of each style in lessons
  • Demonstrate understanding of notation, markings and basic application of relevant stylistic issues, including equipment (e.g., natural horn)

Solo books to own:

  • W. A. Mozart, Four Horn Concertos and Concert Rondo (Schirmer)—actually any edition of these concertos will do, but this is a good value and can be "fixed".
  • Mason Jones, editor, Solos for the Horn Player (Schirmer)—a good collection, but make sure it is NOT "First Solos..." which is also edited by Jones and published by Schirmer (for younger players)


  • 10-15 from packet rep list, including transpositions in E, Eb, D; understanding of others transpositions.

        Excerpt book to own:

  • Arthur Labar, editor, Horn Player’s Audition Handbook (Belwin)-- good "beginning" collection of orchestral excerpts
  • Mel Bay Anthology is also okay

Etudes (15-20) Primary study from (but not limited to):

  • G. Kopprasch, Sixty Studies for French Horn, Book 1 (Carl Fischer, publisher)
  • J-F. Gallay, 12 Studies for Low/Second Horn, Op. 57 (International)
  • J. Rochut, Melodious Studies for Trombone, Book 1 (Carl Fischer)-- we use this for low range and bass clef study.
  • R. Getchell, First Book of Practical Studies for Horn (Belwin)-- easy exercises for transposition and stopped horn study

Performance/Studio participation:

  • Perform in all studio performance classes, including mock auditions
  • Give one Studio presentation on approved topic (10 minutes)
  • Give one performance in a chamber group (less than 8 players, one/part) of any type.
  • Perform with relevant large ensemble(s)
  • Perform on one recital hour or equivalent

Level change (to 300)

  1. Solo equivalent to solos by Hindemith, Dukas, Larsson, Haydn (in D)
  2. 3-4 excerpts, 1-2 transposed
  3. Scales-- all minor forms, straight eighths (quarter at 120)
  4. Sight reading
  5. Portfolio

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Music 364


  • Augment/Improve knowledge of harmonic series and alternate fingerings (esp. pitch tendencies)
  • Be able to play through personal range on both sides of instrument
  • Have some lesson experience (minimum) with natural and descant horns
  • Address any remaining deficiencies from First Year


  • Range: Relaxed, open tone from low low F to high Bb. Total desirable range: low, low D to high C Scales-- all minor, all forms.
  • Patterns: straight-- 2 octaves, 1-5, 1-8; in 3rds; step progression; expanding intervals
  • Articulation: Add exercises in triple tonguing (with single and double) Trills-- able to handle a range of trill styles, including short/long, slow start/immediate fast, various terminations (see packet ex. 3 & 4).
  • Stopped horn: Expand into lower range, with desirable tone quality to low F
  • Slurring: Demonstrate clean slurring to 10th/12th
  • Rhythm: Demonstrate ability to negotiate exercises in compound/complex meters with full range of dotted, etc. rhythms/notations.
  • Improvisation: be able to improvise on a folk song (any style)
  • Memorization: perform one piece in studio or recital hour (pref. longer/concerto movement)
  • Warm-up: Develop routine (min 45 minutes), including long tones, slurs, scales/arpeggios, articulation.


  • More experience with Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th C.
  • Name recognition
  • Read repertoire
  • Study at least one more from each period in lessons
  • Demonstrate understanding of typical notation, markings
  • Have natural horn and descant experience (lesson minimum)
  • Work on accompanied and unaccompanied literature


  • Expand to include 20th C. (e.g., Schuller, Falk, Reynolds)
  • Add Maxime-Alphonse (Book 3 or 4), H. Kling (40 Studies), J-F. Gallay (Unmeasured Preludes, Op. 27), E. Gates (Odd Meter Etudes), G. Barboteu (Lectures-Exercises)
  • Transposition-- Kopprasch or similar


  • 10-15 of standard rep
  • Demonstrate understanding of all transpositions
  • Perform (lesson min.) in A, G, E, Eb, D, C, Bb basso

Performance/Studio Participation

  • Participate in all studio performances, including mock auditions, etc.
  • Give two studio presentations on approved topics (10 min each)
  • Perform one "standard" piece in a "standard" chamber group (W5, Br5, Hn4)
  • Perform on two recital hours (or equivalent)

Level change (to 400)

  1. Solo equivalent to solo works by Telemann, Heiden, Rossini, M. Haydn, Bozza
  2. Excerpts-- 4/ 2-3 transp.
  3. Scales-- see above
  4. Sight reading
  5. Portfolio

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Music 464


  • Be able to develop fingering options quickly and describe compromises
  • Performance experience with natural and descant horns
  • Address any remaining deficiencies from Second Year


  • Desirable range-- consistent tone in four octaves
  • Scales and arpeggios-- all majors, minors, whole tone, modes, blues 2-3 octaves
  • Articulation-- extended triple, double, single patterns (overlap)
  • Trills-- begin expanding intervals ("shakes")
  • Stopped horn-- full three-octave range; Echo horn-- demonstrate understanding
  • Slurring-- to two-octave intervals
  • Rhythm-- full range of rhythms and meters
  • Improvisation-- perform a jazz standard with improvised solo (minimum with Aebersold in lesson)
  • Memorization-- perform one piece on recital from memory
  • Warmup-- minimum routine: 45 minutes


  • Performance experience with Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th C. styles, including with appropriate instruments where possible. Also demonstrate ability to speak about style and instruments in these periods.
  • Perform accompanied, unaccompanied, and chamber pieces


  • 15-20 to include extended length (A. Belloli Etudes)
  • Techniques (G. Schuller Studies)
  • Range and transpositions
  • Introduction to more standard books (more Alphonse, Mueller Op. 34 Studies, O. Neuling Low Horn Studies)


  • 10-15 standard repertoire
  • all transpositions high C to Bb/A basso

Performance/Studio Participation

  • To Exit 364 (level change or no)
  • Give two recital hour performances (or equivalent)
  • Participate in all studio performances, including mock auditions
  • Give two studio presentations on approved topics
  • Give one chamber performance (pref. less traditional ensemble, e.g., voice, perc, tape)
  • Perform (studio class min) on natural and descant horns
  • Attempt to get into/perform with ensembles not regularly playing in.
  • Perform a half recital (minimum), demonstrating variety of styles

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Music 564

Mechanics and Technique

  • Able to negotiate a full range of notated technical and musical demands in etudes, excerpts and solos; initiate, construct and implement strategies to solve demands
  • Able to handle a full range of articulation, scales, arpeggios, keys, rhythms, extended techniques.
  • Address any remaining deficiencies from Third Year


  • Able to speak/write coherently about the history of the horn including highlights of composers, teachers, methods, pieces, instruments, techniques, expression
  • Able to look at repertoire from a pedagogical standpoint and articulate beginning strategies (MUS 425E: Brass Pedagogy)
  • Able to prepare, anticipate for successful orchestral audition, including repertoire, process, expectations for different positions in section
  • Able to articulate repertoire for standard chamber music expectations in a variety of styles (MUS 426E:Brass Studio Literature)


  • Two recital hours
  • All Studio performance classes,including mock auditions
  • Give three studio presentations on approved topics
  • Perform on multiple instruments (natural, descant)
  • Performance experience with some form of improvisation and/or jazz style
  • Full recital including a variety of styles and ensembles


  • Full recital
  • Portfolio

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