Summer Project: New Website Design

One project I had lined up this summer was to take a look at redesigning this website. After several hours of comparing various templates and mock-ups, I finally settled on the one you see here. I hope you like it! While the content of the site has not changed, the overall look and usability have (I hope) improved. Two big improvements I was looking to make have been accomplished:

  • The site looks better on mobile devices. The previous template looked ok on phones and tablets, but I was never completely satisfied with it. If you have the chance, please take a look around on your mobile devices and let me know what you think in the comments section. One other significant change is that the categories, search bar, blog links, and other functions are now located at the bottom of the page.
  • The overall look is cleaner and more visually appealing. Yes, a very subjective appraisal, but I hope my readers will agree. The previous design template was starting to look dated, and I thought it was time for a change.


Two More Interesting Websites for Horn Players

Recently I came across websites for two well-known
professional horn players, Peter Damm (
and Hugh Seenan ( Neither player
requires much in the way of an introduction, except to say that
they are at the top of their field, with numerous recordings,
publications, and other significant contributions. Looking first
at Peter Damm’s website, be sure to check out his publications and scholarly editions of music.
Unfortunately, the articles listed there have not yet been
translated from German, but he does have several articles in
The Horn Call which have been translated.
Another interesting page concerns the instruments Professor Damm has used
over the years for various kinds of repertoire. Here’s a brief
synopsis of the makes and models – with the repertoire played on
them – culled from this page.

  • Walter Mönnig,
    single b-flat/single b-flat with A slide: operas, Haydn concertos,
    Weber Concertino, Danzi Concerto, Lortzing Concert Piece
  • Engelbert Schmid, single b-flat with A and B slides: solo
    concertos, performances with historic organs
  • Engelbert Schmid, double horn with stopping valve:
    orchestral concerts
  • Walter Mönnig, descant
    horn in B-flat/F-alto with separate A/E-alto tuning slide: Baroque
    works by Quantz, Zelenka, Heinichen, Telemann, Fasch
  • Friedbert Syhre, piccolo horn in F-alto/B-flat alto: horn
    and organ recitals
  • Other horns by H. F. Knopf
    and Yamaha: chamber music
  • Mouthpieces by
    Wunderlich, Christoph Werner Schmidt, Friedbert Syhre: matched to
    specific instruments

My first thought after
reading and digesting all of this information was “wow, that’s a
lot of horns!” However, when you think about it, matching horns to
repertoire is no different than what trumpet players do (although I
will admit this is an extreme example). The bottom line, though, is
that Damm has found what works for him, and isn’t constrained by
the idea that you have to do everything on one horn and/or
mouthpiece. There’s plenty more great information on this site, and
it’s well worth spending some time on it. Moving on to Hugh
Seenan’s site, it seems to be set up with more of a promotional
(rather than informational) goal in mind. It’s clean, and very
well-designed, with some great audio
of Mr. Seenan in action. Another must-read page on
this site is his biography, which contains some
wonderful photographs of the horn sections from the Royal
Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish National Orchestra, and London
Symphony, as well as several recording sessions. With so much
information available on the web, it’s often tough to separate
useful sites from not-so-useful ones. Finding new (at least to me)
and interesting sites like the ones above is always fun and
refreshing. Have you found any new and/or interesting horn or
brass-related sites lately? Feel free to comment

More Horn-Related Websites

Here’s a selection of interesting websites related to the horn. Some are new, and some have been around for awhile but I only recently stumbled across them. Enjoy!

  • Sarah Willis: Ms. Willis is a member of the Berlin Philharmonic’s world class horn section, and also an active teacher, soloist, clinician, and all around promoter of all things horn. Her new site is interactive and well-designed, and regularly features live streaming interviews with notable horn players from all over the world. Add this site to your bookmarks list now!
  • Englebert Schmid Horn Forum: I’m a big fan of Englebert Schmid‘s horns, as are many other players. His triple horns are fast becoming a standard in the field. Herr Schmid recently added this forum via a link from his website, and while much of the content is in German it does include a couple of threads in English on the topic of horn maintenance. One particularly interesting point in both discussions – one aimed at repair professionals and the other aimed at players – is that Schmid does not recommend chemically (or ultrasonically) cleaning his horns every year. NB: The server seems to be down for the moment, but hopefully it will be back up soon.
  • Four Hornsmen of the Apocalypse: This well-established professional quartet has maintained a website for some time, but I only recently spent a few minutes perusing their content. One of the gems is a free booklet called The Young Horn Player’s Guide. The guide is full of tips, exercises, and other useful information for horn players of all levels.
  • Looking for more handouts to supplement your current teaching materials?  Check out these other websites.

Review: is an excellent new resource created by Ricardo Matosinhos, a professional horn player and teacher in Portugal. You can read his full bio for more details, but in short Dr. Matosinhos is an experienced player and teacher with a diverse musical background. Among his other horn-related projects are the Horn’s Pocket Guide, a handy reference for horn players of all levels, 12 Jazzy Etudes for Horn, and two more etude collections pending publication.

I’ve spent some time over the last few days perusing, and I can already tell that it will be an invaluable resource for students, teachers, and professional players. According to the description on the home page, is meant to accompany Ricardo’s dissertation, titled Selected and Annotated Bibliography of Horn Etudes Published Between 1950 and 2011. This site takes the form of an interactive database with numerous search options encompassing a substantial catalog of etudes for horn. I should also add that the site is being regularly updated with new additions, which Ricardo posts on the Facebook page. Users can browse through the bibliography alphabetically, or display entries according to publisher, difficulty level, size, and/or country and date of publication. Here’s a screen shot showing one of the entries.


Title and author are listed at the top of the entry, in this case Sixteen Studies for French Horn by Verne Reynolds. This entry caught my eye because I was not aware of another set of etudes by Reynolds in addition to his “great 48,” or 48 Etudes for French Horn. Each entry contains a wealth of information, such as publication date – these studies were actually published after the 48 Etudes – publisher’s website, range, difficulty level, number of etudes, dynamic ranges, extended techniques required, and the average length of each etude. Helpful annotations can also be found at the end of the entry. For these studies, the following explanation for their being little known is provided.

Unlike its [sic] 48 studies, these are written in a tonal language. Having been published only three years after the 48 studies did not have the same acceptance, being now out of print and hard to find.

Though they are out of print, I plan to keep my eyes open for a set of these rare etudes, and I wouldn’t have known about them without the information contained on It’s a great website, and potentially a very powerful tool for research. Congratulations Ricardo, and thank you for providing this resource!

New Look, New Domain Name

For me summer is a great time for practicing, but also for thinking and reflection. When I started this blog, I wasn’t really sure where it was going to go. I had several ideas for topics to cover, as well as a desire to write more about horn teaching and playing. Two years and several hundred posts later, I’m convinced that it was a good idea, and I plan to keep writing for as long as I can. Having a regular online presence has brought me into contact with many people in the music world that I otherwise wouldn’t meet. It’s truly a pleasure to get feedback from my readers, and I enjoy the correspondence. A colleague recently asked me how I come up with ideas for blog posts, and if I ever ran out of ideas. The answer is not really; I keep a list of possible topics (over 40 right now), which I continually update and modify based on what seems interesting at the time. I find myself seeking out more professionally-related activities and reading more in order to stay up to date with current events in music. Though time consuming, blogging has been worth every minute I’ve spent doing it, and I now consider it a part of my professional routine. Looking ahead, something I’ve wanted to do for a while is have my own domain, which I just recently purchased. is easy to remember, and makes the site more personal (the old address at still works, and will redirect to In addition, I’ve updated the look of the site to something a bit more professional. I may still tweak some things here and there in the future, but for now I’m very happy with the new look of the Horn World Blog, and I hope you are too. On the home page, featured posts are organized by category at the top left, and the most recent content is located in a list at the top right. The blog roll and other “widgets” are similar to the old design, but are more aesthetically pleasing.  Whether you are a regular reader or are new to my blog, please take a few minutes and look around the site – I hope you like what you see!

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