The "Concert" or "Vocal" Horn

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Over 20 examples of the ‘Vocal Horn’ made by Rudall, Rose, Carte & Co (later Rudall Carte & Co) survive in museum and private collections. Early sources give the alternative name ‘Concert Horn’; some later sources (including Rudall Carte stock books) also refer to this instrument as a ‘Ballad Horn’, though this term should be reserved for the later model produced by Boosey & Co. from 1869 and copies of this model by other makers. The essential feature of the ‘Concert’ or ‘Vocal Horn’ is that it is pitched in 8-ft C, so that it can play vocal music at concert pitch using conventional brasswind fingering without transposition. It was intended for domestic use, to play songs with pianoforte accompaniment. It was playing at concert pitch that was important rather than playing in concerts. Rudall Carte later preferred the less ambiguous name ‘Vocal Horn’.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-180
Number of pages13
JournalGalpin Society Journal
Publication statusPublished or Performed - 2016