- English horn
a large oboe, a fifth lower in pitch than the ordinary oboe, having a pear-shaped bell and producing a mellow tone. Also called cor anglais.[1830-40]
* * *It has a bent metal crook, to hold the double reed, and a bulbous bell. It is a transposing instrument (its music written in a different tone than it actually sounds) in F. It is neither English nor a horn; in its original name, cor anglais, cor ("horn") referred to its original hornlike curved shape, but the source of anglais ("English") is a mystery. It has remained a basically orchestral instrument since its first appearance с 1750.
* * *orchestral woodwind instrument, a large oboe pitched a fifth below the ordinary oboe, with a bulbous bell and, at the top end, a bent metal crook on which the double reed is placed. It is pitched in F, being written a fifth higher than it sounds. Its compass is from the E below middle C to the second E above. The name first appeared in Vienna about 1760; “cor” refers to the curved or hornlike shape it then had, but the origin of “anglais” (“English”) remains a mystery. The curved form, which survived locally to 1900, was nearly identical to the 18th-century oboe da caccia and is now sometimes used for J.S. Bach's (Bach, Johann Sebastian) parts for that instrument. The English horn was also built in an angular form.The modern straight form was first exhibited in 1839 by Henri Brod of Paris. The English horn appears in many Romantic works, notably those of Hector Berlioz (Berlioz, Hector), César Franck (Franck, César), and Richard Wagner (Wagner, Richard).
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