- Lowell Greer
The orchestral horn, commonly known as the French horn, belongs to the family of conical brasswind instruments. Its immediate predecessors are the hand horn and the hunting horn of the 18th and 19th centuries. The Gallic origins of the manufacture and use of the hunting horn (Trompe de Chasse) are the raison d’etre of its name.
The horn has sustained a presence in America since the development of colonial society. A 1565 roster of Huguenot soldiers at Fort Caroline (now San Mateo, Florida) lists one Jean Menin as player of the cor (horn). The Moravians brought hunting horns with them to their first settlements, and teachers of the horn advertised in newspapers as early as 1736 (Charleston, South Carolina). Hunting horns and hand horns with crooks, also called “concert horns,” were available in stores in most major cities in the colonies by 1738. Performers on the horn were popular soloists in the larger cities throughout the 1700s; composer and horn virtuoso ...