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 English horn intonation--brand differences?
Author: mschmidt 
Date:   2020-05-15 01:03

Are there any noticeable brand differences in intonation for English horns? Intonation is, of course, a larger problem for English horns (or cor anglais, for those of you in the Commonwealth--is the plural cors anglais?) than for oboe. I am reasonably happy with my current Loree cor, as it has a much better G# than what I have read should be the case. After my experience with transitioning from an AK Loree to a Royal, however, I am wondering if I could experience a similar sort of uh...grace...from getting a new EH.


Middle-Aged Amateur

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 Re: English horn intonation--brand differences?
Author: Hotboy 
Date:   2020-05-17 22:15

There is tremendous variability between hand-made instruments, even in the same brand. I have not found any significant additional variability in the intonation of the EH that the proper bocal can't ameliorate.

When you go to try out EHs, bring as many good bocals with you. It can surprising how one makes the EH chug and another makes it sing.

Bay Area, California

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 Re: English horn intonation--brand differences?
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2021-05-14 23:57

Why is that? Do they have varying internal shapes, or is it just diameters, or is it both? I have to have a more-curved bocal than normal because of short arms, and had to have one custom made; it "plays like a Loree #2" according to people but that's all I know. Expensive to get a whole box of them when they have to be custom.

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 Re: English horn intonation--brand differences?
Author: Hotboy 
Date:   2021-05-16 03:36

Bocals are hand-made as well. Even if you play on a dozen Hinikers, most will have noticeable differences. I recommend borrowing as many bocals from your friends as you can when you try out new horns. One style may be perfect for you and that particular horn, and you won't experience the serendipity until you try that exact combo.

A number of years ago I was at Forrest's trying out bocals for a student to purchase one, and I (un)fortunately tried a gold-plated Loree Etoile. It was like magic...the sound was silky smooth yet had tremendous projection. The intonation was amazing in all registers and also gave me more altissimo notes. I resisted for a year then dropped the $500 to get one...I do not regret the purchase.

Speaking of "more curved" bocals, a number of years ago I appeared as the soloist in a contemporary EH solo piece that went up to F#, and my Symer, Hiniker, and original Loree bocals weren't up to the task. I was given an ancient bocal by my friend Jim Matheson (San Francisco Symphony and Opera) that had no straight lines at all...it was totally curved like a semi-circle and looked like something out of a 200-year-old lithograph. It was frightfully out of tune, but it played up to G# with ease and I played the solo using that bocal and adjusting for pitch.

Bay Area, California

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 Re: English horn intonation--brand differences?
Author: Leonard562 
Date:   2021-09-07 10:39

Thank you for posting that it could be just the thing to give inspiration to someone who needs it! Keep up the great work!


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 Re: English horn intonation--brand differences?
Author: George95 
Date:   2021-09-09 09:35

Thanks for sharing, I found a lot of interesting information here. A really good post, very thankful and helpful. MyLowesLife

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