Horns in military Service

Horns at work

From the eighteenth century on, wind instruments have played an important role in military bands and the horn was no exception. The horn was incorporated into these ensembles very early on and filled out the harmony between oboes above and bassoons on the bass line. These military bands also played an important role in the development of the horn. Napoleon’s musicians traveling with his army were a significant factor in disseminating the high quality hand technique of the Paris Conservatoire.  Later, in the nineteenth century, military horn players were some of the first to switch over to the new valve horns and it is method books intended to instruct military musicians that first advocate the valve horn technique we use to today (namely a fingering for each note without manipulations with the hand in the bell).