Online Encyclopedia

HORN

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 697 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: del.icio.us del.icio.us it!
HORN, English hero of romance. King Horn is a heroic poem or gest of 1546 lines dating from the 13th century. Murry (or Allof), king of Sudennel (Surrey and Sussex?) is slain by Saracen pirates who turn his son Horn adrift with twelve other children. The boat drifts to Westernesse 2 (Cornwall?), where the children are received by King Aylmer (Aethelmaer). Presently Horn is denounced by one of his companions as the lover of the king's daughter Rymenhild (Rimel) and is banished, taking with him a ring, the gift of his bride and a talisman against danger. In Ireland, under the name of Godmod, he serves for seven years, and slays in battle the Saracens who had killed his father. Learning that Rymenhild is to be married against her will to King Mody, he returns to Westernesse disguised as a palmer, and makes himself known to the bride by dropping the ring into the cup she offers him, with the words " Drink to Horn of Horn." He then reconquers his father's kingdom and marries Rymenhild. The other versions of the story, which are founded on a common tradition, but are not immediately dependent on one another, are : (1) the longer French romance of Horn et Rimenhild by "mestre Thomas," describing more complex social conditions than those of the English poem; (2) a slightly shorter Middle English poem, Horn Childe and Maiden Rimnild; (3) the Scottish ballad of " Hind Horn; " (4) a prose romance founded on the French Horn, entitled Pontus et Sidoine (Lyons, 1480, Eng. trans. pr. by Wynkyn de Worde, 1511; German trans. Augsburg, 1483)• There is a marked resemblance between the story of Horn and the legend of Havelok the Dane, and it is interesting to note how closely Richard of Ely followed the Horn tradition in the r2th century De gestis Herewardi Saxonis. Hereward also loves an Irish princess, flees to Ireland, and returns in time for the bridal feast, where he is presented with a cup by the princess. The orphaned prince who recovers his father's kingdom and avenges his murder, and the maid or wife who waits years for an absent lover or husband, and is rescued on the eve of a forced marriage, are common characters in romance. The second of these motives, with almost identical incidents, occurs in the legend of Henry the Lion, duke of Brunswick; it is the subject of ballads in Swedish, Danish, German, Bohemian, &c., and of a Historia by Hans Sachs, though some magic elements are added; it also occurs in the ballad of Der edle Moringer (14th century), well known in Sir Walter Scott's translation; in the story of Torello in the Decameron of Boccaccio (loth day, 9th tale); and with some variation in the Russian tale of Dobrynya and Nastasya. King Horn was re-edited for the Early English Text Soc. by G. H. McKnight in 1901; Horn et Rimenhild was edited with the English versions for the Bannatyne Club by F. Michel (Paris, 1845) Horn Childe and Maiden Rimnild in J. Ritson's Metrical Romances, vol. iii. ; and " Hind Horn " in F. J. Child's English and Scottish 1 There was a barrow in the Isle of Purbeck, Dorsetshire, called Hornesbeorh; and there are other indications which point to a possible connexion between Horn and Dorset (see H. L. Ward, Cat. of Romances, i. 451). 2 Sudenne and Westernesse are tentatively identified also with Isle of Man and Wirral (Cambridge Hist. of Eng Lit., i. 304). 697 (a) The body is the main tube, having a bore of the form known as trunco-conical, measuring approximately 7 ft. 4 in. in length, in which the increase in the diameter of the bore is very gradual in proportion to the length, the cone becoming accentuated only near the bell. In the valve horn the bore is only theoretically conical, the extra lengths of tubing attached to the valves being practically cylindrical. The body is coiled spirally, and has at one end a wide-mouthed bell from 11 to 12 in. in diameter having a parabolic curve, and at the other a conical ferrule into which fit the crooks. (b) The crooks (Fr. corps or tons de rechange; Ger. Krummbogen, Stimmbogen, Einsetzbogen) are interchangeable, spiral tubes, tapering to a diameter of a quarter of an inch at the mouthpiece end and varying in length from 16 in. for the Bb alto crook to 125 in. for the Bb basso. Each crook is named according to the fundamental tone which it produces on being added to the body. By lengthening the tube at will the crook lowers the pitch of the instrument, and consequently changes the key in which it stands. Although the harmonic series remains the same for all the crooks, the actual sounds produced by overblowing are lower, the tube being longer, and they now belong to the key of the crook. The principle of the crook was known early in the 17th century; it had been applied to the trumpet, trombone and Jagertrummct 1 before being adapted to the horn. Crooks are merely transposing agents; they are powerless to fill up the gaps in the scale of the horn in order to make it a chromatic or even a diatonic instrument, for they require time for adjustment. The principle of the crook doubtless suggested to StOlzel the system of valves, which is but an instantaneous application of the general principle to the individual notes of the harmonic series, each of which is thereby lowered a semitone, a tone or a tone and a half, as long as the valve remains in operation. The body of the horn without crooks is of the length to produce 8 ft. C., and forms the standard, being known as the alto horn in C, which is the highest key in which the horn is pitched. The notes are sounded as written. (c) The mouthpiece of the horn differs substantially from that of the trumpet.' There is, strictly speaking, no cup, the inside of the mouthpiece being, like the bore of the instrument itself, in the form of a truncated cone or funnel. Like the other parts of this difficult and complex instrument, the proportions of the mouthpiece must bear a certain undefined relation to the length and diameter of the column of air. The choice of a suitable mouthpiece is in fact a test of skill; the shape of the lip of the performer and the more special use he may wish to make of either the higher or the lower harmonics have to be taken into consideration. In orchestral music the part for first horns naturally calls for the use of the higher harmonics, which are more easily obtained by means of a somewhat smaller and shallower mouthpiece than that used upon the second horn; which is called upon to dwell more on the lower harmonics. (d) The tuning slides (Fr. coulisses; Ger. Stimmbogen) consist of a pair of sliding U-shaped tubes fitting tightly into each other, by means of which the instrument can be brought strictly into tune, and which also act as compensators with the crooks. On these tuning slides, placed across the ring formed by the coils of the valve-horn, are fixed the pistons with their extra lengths of tubing; as the connexion of the pistons with the body of the horn is made through the slides, the value of the latter as compensators will be readily under-stood. Those accustomed to deal with instruments having fixed notes, such as the piano and harp, hardly realize the extreme difficulties which confront both maker and performer in intricate wind instruments such as the horn, on which no sounds can be produced without conscious adjustment of lips and breath, and but few without the additional use of some such contrivance as slide, crook, piston or of the hand in the bell, in the case of the natural or hand horn. The production of sound in wind instruments has a fourfold Popular Ballads (vol. i., 1882), with an introductory note on similar legends. See also H. L. Ward, Catalogue of Romances, vol. i., where the relation between Havelok and Horn is discussed; Hist. lift. de la France (vol. xxii., 1852) ; W. SOderhjelm, Sur l'identite du Thomas auteur de Tristan et du Thomas auteur de Horn (Romania, xv., 1886) T. Wissmann, " King Horn " (1876) and " Das Lied von King Horn " (1881) in Noss 16 and 45 of Quellen and Forschungen zur Spr. and Culturgesch. d. german. Volker (Strassburg and London) ; Reinfrid von Braunschweig, a version of the legend of Henry the Lion, edited by K. Bartsch (Stuttgart, 1871); and a further bibliography in 0. Hartenstein, Studien zur Hornsage (Heidelberg, 1902).
End of Article: HORN
[back]
HORMUZ (Hurmuz, Ormuz, Ormus)
[next]
HORN (Lat. cornu; corresponding terms being Fr. cor...

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.