Definition of basset horn in US English:

basset horn


  • An alto clarinet in F.

    • ‘Because Mozart wrote for the basset horn in some 20 works, makers kept it available, and it was also used by Beethoven, Spohr, Mendelssohn, and Richard Strauss.’
    • ‘The first movement was plainly sketched, in G major, for basset horn.’
    • ‘The concert opens with a special arrangement of the Magic Flute overture and the programme includes the well known Serenade for 13 Wind Instruments in the original version using a basset horn.’
    • ‘When it came to the clarinet family, one must admit that the basset horn does sound a trifle canine, but as with flutes and saxophones, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone or bass always flowed on in logical order.’
    • ‘One of his concertos is for solo basset horn - that instrument is a close relative of the clarinet.’


Mid 19th century: from German, translation of French cor de bassette, from Italian corno di bassetto, from corno ‘horn’ + di ‘of’ + bassetto (diminutive of basso ‘low’, from Latin bassus ‘short’).


basset horn

/ˈbasət ˌhôrn//ˈbæsət ˌhɔrn/