Definition of French horn in US English:

French horn


  • A brass instrument with a coiled tube, valves, and a wide bell, developed from the simple hunting horn in the 17th century. It is played with the right hand in the bell to soften the tone and increase the range of available harmonics.

    • ‘Also, sometimes when I'm listening, I get confused between clarinets and bassoons, and between French horns and trombones, so it's good to see the live performance.’
    • ‘Sadly, one night, some vandals broke into a locked storeroom and dented a French horn and broke the mouthpiece off an antique bassoon.’
    • ‘Eleven year old Robert Magowan of St Joseph's, who plays the French horn, has been nominated by the Southern Board's Music Department's staff for the Anita Curry Cup.’
    • ‘Webern takes advantage of color ambiguities between instruments - the fact that a trumpet in certain cases can sound like a French horn or an oboe, for example.’
    • ‘The pleasure and challenge the music presented me all those years ago, has been revived for me, even though I'm on the business end of a baton and not the French horn.’
    • ‘But they stipulated that there were to be no drums or even electronic simulations of drums, and no trumpets, although French horns, soprano saxes and electric violins were perfectly okay.’
    • ‘At his disposal were 100 musicians, mostly drawn from the Seattle Symphony, including the usual strings but also four harps, an equal number of trumpets and trombones, six tubas and eight French horns.’
    • ‘She had minimal skills on the oboe, French horn, guitar, viola, mandolin, and penny whistle.’
    • ‘My teacher also encouraged me to take up a second instrument, the French horn.’
    • ‘Some orchestras these days perform Handel with French horns, clarinets and other things that Handel never planned for in the original score.’
    • ‘The 17-year-old from York started playing the piano when he was five and the French horn when he was eight.’
    • ‘I want to show you my French horn and my band locker!’
    • ‘The trumpets were next to the flutes, and the French horns behind the cellos.’
    • ‘There's much to commend - the composers merit a wider audience; it's hard to imagine better performances; and we hear concertos for French horn, oboe and bassoon rather than overworked violins or pianos.’
    • ‘Dad played the saxophone, clarinet, trumpet or cornet, and the French horn.’
    • ‘The Opera Ensemble, arranged and conducted by Byron Olson, is comprised of a variety of woodwinds, a French horn, voice, accordion, bass, and drums.’
    • ‘Adding some of the mellow power of the French horn to it would be a clear gain.’
    • ‘Symphonic instruments like flutes, French horns, violins, clarinets and trombones would be first choice, Wapenaar says, but any musical instrument is welcome.’
    • ‘He has used instruments as varied as the oboe, French horn, mandolin and saxophone in his arrangements.’
    • ‘However, the French horn that is used today was completed in France.’


French horn

/ˈˌfrenCH ˈhôrn//ˈˌfrɛntʃ ˈhɔrn/