The Creative Hornist: Essays, Rants, and Odes for the Classical Horn Player on Creative Music Making

Conventional horn wisdom has always been that one simply doesn’t go exploring with the horn. It simply isn’t done. You play the ink. Basta! Other instruments – say, instruments with a jazz tradition – are allowed off the leash, but horn? Uh-uh, no way, no how. It’s too difficult. It’s dumb. It’s dangerous (you might make a mistake!). It’s scary. It’s not the norm. It’s embarrassing. You’re too young. You’re too old. You haven’t had the proper training. You don’t have time. It’s against the rules/tradition/laws of man and nature. Why bother? There’s nothing out that there that the experts haven’t already discovered. What are you going to play, anyway? If you try to make something up, it will sound mistake-ridden and bad. Who do you think you are? Remember what happened to Icarus and his winged experiments! Be sensible! Just. Don’t.

The arguments, brimming propriety and good sense, go on and on. They are, in fact, built in to our unconscious fundamental understanding of our definition of horn playing, so that the mere idea of ‘exploring’ with the horn almost never occurs to us, and any flicker of desire to do so is immediately rejected – if it ever surfaces at all. The Creative Hornist is a collection of countervailing and iconoclastic essays and information to persuade you to create your own music and discover your own musical voice. Don’t wait any longer. Start now – today! – enjoying the other half of music and musicianship that has been missing.

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