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X112

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Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 706 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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X112. 23 The first possessor of the MS., Franz Schubert (1768-1824), musical director of the Italian opera in Dresden, wrote the following note in pencil on the last page of the cover: " Franz Schubert. The complete school of horn-playin by the Kgl. Polnischen u. Kursachs. Cammermusicus Anton Joseph Hampel, a celebrated virtuoso, invented by himself in 1762. ' Judging from the standard of modern technique, there are many passages in the "Lection " which could not be played without artificially humouring the production of harmonics with the lips, and it is an open question to what extent this method of correcting intonation and of altering the pitch was practised in the 18th century. When, therefore, Franz Schubert states that the method was invented by Hampel, we may take this as indirectly confirming Gerber's statements. Further confirmation is obtained from the text of a work on the horn written by Heinrich Domnich6 (b. 1760), the son of a celebrated horn-player of Wiirtzburg contemporary with Hampel. Domnich junior settled eventually in Paris, where he was appointed first professor of the horn at the Conservatoire. According to him the mute (sourdine) of metal, wood or cardboard in the form of a hollow cone, having a hole in the base, was used to soften the tone of the horn without altering the pitch. But Hampel, substituting for this the pad of cotton wool used for a similar purpose with the oboe, found with surprise that its effect in the bell of the horn was to raise the pitch a semitone (see D. J. Blaikley's explanation above). By this means, says Domnich, a diatonic and chromatic scale was obtained. Later Hampel substituted the hand for the pad. Domnich duly ascribes to Hampel the credit of the Inventionshorn, but erroneously states that it was Haltenhoff of Hanau who made the first instrument. Domnich further explains that Hampel, who had not practised the bouche notes in his youth, only made use of them in slow music, and that the credit of making practical use of the discovery was due to his pupil Giovanni Punto (Joh. Stich) the celebrated horn virtuoso, who was a friend of Domnich's. It may be well to draw attention to the fact that hand-stopping was not possible so long as the tube of horn was folded in a circle wide enough to be worn round the body. The reduction of the diameter of the orchestral horn in order to allow the performer to hold the instrument in front of him, thus bringing the bell in front of the right arm in a convenient position for hand-stopping, must have preceded the discovery of hand-stopping. In the absence of contrary evidence we may suppose that the change was effected for the more convenient arrangement and manipulation of the slides or Inventions. So radical a change in the compass of the horn could not occur and be adopted generally without leaving its mark on the horn music of the period; this change does not occur, as far as we know, before the last decades of the 18th century. The rapid acceptance in other countries of Hampel's discovery of hand-stopping is evidenced by a passage from a little English work on music, published in London in 1772 but bearing at the end of the preface the date June 1766:6 " Some eminent Proficients have been so dexterous as very nearly to perform all the defective notes ofthe scale on the Horn by management of Breath and by a little stopping the bell with their hands." Hampel's success gave a general impetus to the inventive faculty of musical instrument makers in Europe. At first the result was negative. Kolbel's attempt must, however, be mentioned, if only to correct a misconception. Kolbel, a Bohemian horn virtuoso at the imperial Russian court from 1754, spent many years in vain endeavours to improve his instrument. At last, in 176o, he applied keys to the horn or the bugle, calling it Klappenhorn (the bugle is known in Germany as Signal or Buglehorn). Kolliel's experiment did not become widely known or adopted during his lifetime, but Anton Weidinger, court trumpeter at Vienna, made a keyed trumpetl in 18o1, which attracted attention in musical circles and gave a fresh impetus in experimenting with keys upon brass instruments. In 1813 Joseph Weidinger, the twelve-year-old son of the above, gave a concert in Vienna on the Klappenwaldhorn 6 (or keyed French horn), about which little seems to be known. Victor Mal-Om- 6 describes such an instrument, but ascribes the invention to Kolbel; there was but one key placed on the bell, which on being opened had the effect of raising the pitch of the instrument a whole tone. By alternately using the harmonic open notes on the normal length of the tube, and then by the action of the key shortening the air column, the following diatonic scale was obtained in the third octave: I 2 3 4 key s key 6 key .7 key 8 Methode de premier et de second cor (Paris, c. 1807). The passage in question was discovered and courteously communicated by Hofrat P. E. Richter of the Royal Library, Dresden. There is no copy of Domnich's work in the British Museum. 6 See William Tans'ur Senior, op. et loc. cit. 2 See Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung (Leipzig), Nov. 1802, p, 158, and Jan. 1803, p. 245; and E. Hanslick, Geschichte des Concertwesens in Wien (Vienna, 1869), p. 119. 6 See Allgem. mus. Ztg., 1815, p. 844. 6 " Le Cor," pp. 34-35. It In 1812 Dikhuth,l horn-player in the orchestra of the grand-duke of Baden at Mannheim, constructed a horn in which a slide on the principle of that of the trombone was intended to replace hand-stopping and to lower the pitch at will a semitone. The most felicitous, far- reaching and important of all improvements was the invert' tion of valves (q.v.), pistons or cylinders (the principle of which has already been ex- plained), by Heinrich Stolzel2 who applied them first of all to the horn, the trumpet and the trombone,' thus endowing the brass wind with a chromatic compass obtained with perfect ease throughout the compass. The inherent defect of valve instruments already explained, which causes faulty intonation need- ing correction when the pis- tons are used in combination, has now been practically overcome. The numerous culty, made with varying suc- cess by makers of brass instruments, are described under VALVE, BOMBARDON and CORNET.4 (K. S.)
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