Valve Horns in an ensemble setting

Horns at work

The introduction of valves to the horn did not initially replace the use of hand manipulations in the bell, but rather allowed the instrument to quickly change key (meaning it was no longer left by the wayside when a piece modulated). These instruments were however able to play every chromatic tone by utilizing only partials from the various overtone series available that conformed to standard pitch. Gradually, the subtle shadings and colors of hand technique were abandoned in favor of the uniform execution of the open tones and fingerings we employ today.