KY All-State Horn Excerpt #1

Here are some tips and trouble spots to watch out for in the KY All-State Horn Excerpt #1.


Here is the excerpt from Kopprasch #29:

Key Points:

The challenges in the excerpt are quite obvious:

  • A large range is required (from a pedal G to a G above the staff – 3 full octaves!).
  • Many large leaps must be executed quickly and accurately – there are no rests between them.
  • Large changes in dynamics.
  • Many dynamic changes are uncomfortable (i.e. getting quieter in the upper register, or louder in the lower register).
  • Reading bass clef. In this case, the bass clef is in “old notation” (i.e. written one octave lower than played).

Technical Tips:

  • The etude is comprised of a bunch of 4-note phrases. These are well marked by the changes of dynamic that happen after each phrase. Practice each 4-note phrase separately, especially the ones that may have unexpected or awkward intervals inside them (for example, mm. 10 and 11).
  • The large tongued intervals can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know where you are going. First, determine your starting and ending pitches (scales or arpeggios are great for ensuring 100% accuracy in this phase). After you know where you’re going, try slurring these large intervals. This sounds strange (and is certainly more difficult) but this will force you to find the “most direct route” between notes with your air speed. It is okay (even preferable) to have a slightly messy, glissando-like slur, and don’t worry about maintaining strict time during this phase. Once you can hear and slur between the large intervals relatively consistently, then add the articulation back in. The tongue should help to mask the glissando-slur, and the result should be a clean articulation.
  • If you need help reaching the lowest notes, try Remington exercises. You can find them on my French Horn Exercises page, in the “Long Tone Exercises” page. While you’re there, you may want to check out my fingering chart, if you’re unsure of any of the fingerings for the lowest notes. Keep in mind, the fingering chart is written in “new notation”, so the bass clef notes will be written one octave higher. If in doubt, just look for the lowest G!
  • Although written in almost all eight notes, make sure you are aware that Andante is a “walking tempo” – it is neither especially slow or fast. Think about quarter note = 70-90 or so.
  • Feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions, or if you’d like an in person (or Skype) lesson.


Don’t forget to check out my walkthrough of All-State #2 as well!