"City Horn, Country Horn"
c. 1858, possibly of German manufacture 
80 cm ~ Silver-plated brass
 

 

Musical venue was a great problem faced by musicians in the 19th century, particularly by horn players. If a musical gathering was to be held indoors the volume and tone would need to be muted, whereas an outdoor performance required both range and volume. Musicians were therefore forced to bring several instruments to each performance at an increased cost of cartage, haulage and drayage.

The instrument shown here was found in the attic of a home in Orpington-upon-Bowelsworthy, Nebbish, Wickwireshire N158¾, England, and is believed to be an experiment in combining the qualities of both the outdoor and the indoor horn in a single instrument. A sales sheet in what is believed to be an African colonial German dialect accompanies the instrument, which is described thusly:

"Die eindeutige Qualität dieses feinen Instrumentes ist, daß sie zuhause und heraus gespielt werden kann, als die große Glocke produziert ein endgültiges BLATT! und OOMPAH! und die kleine Glocke ein melodious TOODLE-TOODLE-TOODLE." 

It is not known if the instrument was ever put into production or played publicly. 

Another critical school believes that this may have been an April Fools joke at the expense of John Philip Sousa.

 

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