Rare instruments

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: July 2003 Archive: Rare instruments
By Delirious (Delirious) on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 01:38 pm: Edit

I play French horn. Is that rare? It seems like it is, because my school only has 2 good ones and we have to actually hire people since you usually need 4 or 5 in orchestra.

By Serene (Serene) on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 02:20 pm: Edit

i don't think so.

By Reeses (Reeses) on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 02:37 pm: Edit

no, we have like 25 at our school

By Momof2 (Momof2) on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 03:24 pm: Edit

Wellll, really good young french horn players are more rare than a lot of instruments. (sort of like oboe/Eng. horn, right, Hautbois?) I mean the level to easily learn major orchestral excerpts. We spent several weeks doing auditions and only heard 2 or 3 really good horn players out of maybe 25 or 30 - most of whom were planning performance majors. We were a little surprised, particularly my younger son, who was in 9th grade and is a horn player himself.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 04:13 pm: Edit

Our school has something like 15 spread across four levels. I think D has a shot at #2 next year. Large school (3400), though, in a district that takes pride in its music program.

I'd be curious, Mo2, to have heard those auditions and see where D stacks up. She would say...and I would agree...that she isn't soloist material yet. She needs work on her high range but her tone quality for what she does play is very nice.

Would help if she'd practice more but ballet kinda kills that.

By Momof2 (Momof2) on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 04:34 pm: Edit

It was the orchestral excerpts that really cut most of them down - sounded like most had never heard the actual pieces or Strauss at all. The jumps were part. difficult. S#2 did enjoy hearing a couple of people play pieces he was considering for future years - the recordings just never make the difficult parts sound hard! Even now, S#2 is working for his upcoming college ensemble auditions and we gave him the CD's to listen to. When your D tries out, make sure she is familiar with the entire orch. work. S was even asked (at Vanderbilt, I think) if he knew what instrument he "dovetailed" with at the end of his phrase - thank God, he did. That may have helped as much as his playing!

By Thedad (Thedad) on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 04:43 pm: Edit

Well, the Symphony Orchestra plays mainly Level 6 work...this probably makes more sense to you than me. Fwiw, D says the corresponding band group is actually a stronger group. My sense is that as far as horn playing goes, D is a middlin' fish in a fairly big pond.

Good point about being familiar with the whole orchestral work. Fwiw again, D prefers the orchestral pieces to the band pieces.

By Beaubourg (Beaubourg) on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 05:54 pm: Edit

You mean the freedom horn, don't you?

By Thedad (Thedad) on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 06:50 pm: Edit

No, I don't.

By O71394658 (O71394658) on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 07:40 pm: Edit


By Momof2 (Momof2) on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 10:07 pm: Edit

I think that's the ancient "valve-less" version!

By Thenarrator (Thenarrator) on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 10:52 pm: Edit

the French Horn DEFINITELY is a scholarship instrument. It is common among bands because of high amounts of middle school and highschool bands. Most band French horn players are just loud brassy types of players, but a good orchestral hornist is very RARE. Competition is also very fierce amoung those who are good. It is a crucial (and very very hard) instrument in many orchestral pieces, thus the importance of a good French Hornist is great.

the oboe, bassoon, and viola are also rare, scholarhip instruments.

By Momof2 (Momof2) on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 11:16 pm: Edit

Garrison Keillor (sp?) once observed that French Horn was much more like a cult than a mere instrument - "a Religion in and of itself"

Come to think of it, the oboe was also characterized as "the instrument played in those old epic movies whenever someone was taking their clothes off."

By Thedad (Thedad) on Thursday, July 10, 2003 - 12:16 am: Edit

Huh. Good to know. D likes orchestral music.

LOL, Mo2. I'm going to start searching old movies for oboe music...in the interests of research, of course.

By Bubbles04 (Bubbles04) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 08:09 pm: Edit

Yay! I am always interested in music discussions, especially ones that pad my confidence/ego...I play oboe by the way... :)

By Gianscolere (Gianscolere) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 09:29 pm: Edit

I'm starting to develop an interest in playing a musical instrument (violin or piano)...but I think it's too late because I'm already in the 10th grade...too bad my parents didn't train me when I was younger! And no, I'm not doing this for the sake of college admissions....so do you think I should pursue it? Will colleges think I did this just to have something good to put on the application?
Hmmm...it might actually look bad because my talent is in visual arts, not music...but I want to try music for a change while still involved in the arts.

By Serene (Serene) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 10:08 pm: Edit

gianscolere: definitely, do what you want while you still have so much freedom~ =)

By Mazzo (Mazzo) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 10:23 pm: Edit

is a good dulcimer player rare?????

By Thedad (Thedad) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 11:17 pm: Edit

As rare as a good bagpipe player.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 11:19 pm: Edit

As rare as a good bagpipe player.

By Shabadew (Shabadew) on Friday, July 18, 2003 - 02:09 am: Edit

look on the bright side... a french horneyman is going to be a asset to a school because they know you are going to be playing it in those rooms they have in the dorms. its something different that you can offer to the school. and its better than the flute at least!

By Kewkiekid (Kewkiekid) on Friday, July 18, 2003 - 02:52 am: Edit

how about a girl who's been playing percussion since 6th grade? my strongest instruments are timpani, cymbals (marching and concert), bass drum (marching and concert) and the "toys"?

By Gianscolere (Gianscolere) on Friday, July 18, 2003 - 10:04 pm: Edit

Thanks Serene for the advice!

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