Difference between trumpet and French horn
Trumpet vs French horn:
Trumpet and French horn are two musical instruments that belong to the brass family. Both are instruments that bear certain similarities with regards to their appearance as well as the kind of sound they make and yet, the many differences that they bear go well beyond these subtle similarities that they both share with one another. However, both the French horn and the trumpet are widely used instruments and one often sees the absolutely crucial part that they play in orchestras and such.
What is a trumpet?
A trumpet is a musical instrument that belongs to the brass category. Dating back to 1500 BC, trumpets remain to be one of the oldest musical instruments found in the human history. There have been bronze and silver trumpets were discovered from Tutankhamen’s grave in Egypt which bear witness to the veritable age of these trumpets that are used even now in modern orchestras. A trumpet possesses the credit of the highest soprano note range and it uses three main valves to alter the pitch. Each valve increases the length of tubing when engaged, thereby lowering the pitch. To obtain its physical shape, it is bent twice in to an oblong shape. Trumpets are very loud instruments because of which, they were popularly used as fanfare in the ancient times, as battle calls and even in big musical bands and mariachi bands.
What is a French horn?
Although it is called the French horn, the origin of the horn is not traced back to France, but to Germany. Because of the inaccuracy of this factor relating to its origin, the International Horn Society in 1971 has recommended that the instrument be simply called the horn instead of being referred to as the French horn. However, it is still commonly referred to as the French horn in the United States. Due to its loudness of sound, French horns were initially used for hunting trips or for night watches and never played indoors as a musical instrument. French horns have lever-operated rotary valves that when pushed by the player, open or close other valves. The French horn has a funnel like mouth piece through which the player is intended to blow while pressing the keys.
What is the difference between French horn and trumpet?
Both the French horn and the trumpet are brass instruments that are renowned for their loudness, because of which they are both used in orchestras and marching bands. Both instruments have three keys, metal mouth pieces and the same type of ombesure. However, the French horn is much larger than the trumpet and is therefore pitched lower than the trumpet as well. Furthermore, the trumpet is bent twice in to an oblong shape whereas the tube of the French horn is coiled in to a circular shape, forming a bell shape at the base. With regards to appearances, the mouth piece of the trumpet is cup shaped whereas the mouth piece of the French horn is basically funnel shaped.
The instruments are held in different ways as well. The trumpet is held out to the front with the right hand on the keys and the left hand used to steady the horn whereas the French horn is held on the knee with the right hand on the keys and the left hand in the bell. However, the notes played by the French horn are more controlled more by the ombeshure instead of keys whereas the notes played on the trumpet are controlled by the keys. Also, the trumpet is more or less assigned to play melody at an orchestra whereas the role of a French horn would be in playing rhythm and wistful melodic accents. However, the French horn is considered as easier to play when compared to the trumpet and yet, it is said that finding pitches is rather difficult in a French horn. However with practice, this too could be mastered. It must also be said that the history of the trumpet goes back quite a long way whereas the French horn is more of a recent invention which has been founded in Germany around 1600’s.