The horn is a beautiful instrument, not only to hear, but also to look at. No other instrument is featured as often in pictures, cartoons, logos and photos. Of course the sound is most important. Many composers loved the sound of the horn. Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler and many other famous composers wrote important horn solos in their compositions for orchestra. The horn not only plays an important role in classical music; contemporary composers also write extensively for it. Even in movies, during the most emotional or suspenseful scenes, you will often hear one or more horns.
The horn is a member of the brass family. It is a long, rolled up tube about 4 metres long. It is narrow by the mouthpiece and becomes gradually wider, ending in a large bell. The tube is rolled up in two sections. The instrument has three valves which, when pressed, open a length of tube, making it longer and lowering the pitch. A horn sounds lower than a trumpet but higher than a tuba.