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Guidelines and Desirable Outcomes for Private Horn Study 

The following is intended more to guide students through "typical" expectations for each year of study than to serve as a list of requirements. They are published here to provide prospective students and others with reference materials regarding horn study at CWU. Of course, accompanying this information is the disclaimer that each person will bring their own assets and deficiencies, and progress at their own rate—some may already have acquired these skills, while others may consider them impossible (for now!). In all, however, the hope is that one can see the kinds of challenges presented and the desirable outcomes of private study. Also included are some brief references to the types of exercises or resources used to accomplish these goals, where appropriate. Prospective and Incoming Students: please note the study materials for the First Year, listed under "Musical", "Etudes", and "Excerpts". 

Desirable characteristics and abilities by the end of the First Year 

  • 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 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 

Desirable characteristics and abilities by the end of the Second Year 


  • 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. 
  • mprovisation: 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 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 

Desirable characteristics and abilities by the end of the Third Year 

  • 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 
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 

Desirable characteristics and abilities by the end of the Fourth Year 

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 

Desirable characteristics and abilities by the end of Graduate Study 

  • Account for all technical, musical items in four-year course of study. Develop (with JS) a plan to address all remaining issues 
  • Perform one recital per year in residence (preferred minimum of 2), emphasizing a variety of solo pieces and chamber settings, representing Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th Century styles. 

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