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Why is the English horn "English"?

Not to be out done by their French neighbors across the channel, the English also have a horn. In a manner of speaking. The French can lay good claim in calling their orchestral horn "French,” and the common name outside of the United States for the English Horn is cor anglais, from the French.

A member of the oboe family, the English horn is a double reed instrument. Its sound is produced by two thin pieces of cane, separated by a slight opening, which vibrate against each other as the musician blows through them. The clarinet is a single reed instrument, having one piece of cane that vibrates against a solid mouthpiece. The tone of the English Horn is nostalgic, sometimes even sad. Oboe-like in quality, composers call upon it for its distinctively warm and heart rendering character and is famous for its pastoral quality.

Besides its greater length, the English Horn is distinguishable from the oboe by the pear-shaped-bulbous bell at its bottom end and the crooked tubing at its upper end. The reed is placed on the other end of the tubing—known as the “bocal”—which bends and reaches up and backward towards the player’s mouth.

Some refer to the English Horn as the tenor, others the alto, of the oboe family. This family tree is topped by the oboe and descends in pitch as the instruments increase in length. Beneath the oboe is the sweet toned "oboe d'amore" (which is very similar to the English Horn, just a little smaller), then the English Horn, followed by the heckelphone (invented by a man named Heckel, of course) then the bassoon. At the bottom of the list is the ponderous contrabassoon, whose lowest note matches the lowest note of the piano. Of this genealogy, all but the heckelphone and oboe d'amore are in common use today.

Interestingly, the instrument is not French, nor English, and it is not a horn in the conventional sense of the French horn, trumpet, trombone, etc., all of which are brass and have a conical bore. It was developed about the same time as the oboe da caccia—an instrument favoured by Bach—when a bulbous bell was added to the end of its curved shape. It is said to have resembled horns played by angels as seen in the artwork of the Middle Ages. German-speaking people named it accordingly: engellisches Horn, meaning “angelic horn.” Because engellisch also meant English in the vernacular of the time, the "angelic horn" became the "English horn.” It is common to see the instrument labeled in German and Italian scores as corno inglese.

[See Wikipedia:]

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