First to be published in the series was The Art of French Horn Playing by Philip Farkas, now Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Music at Indiana University. In 1956, when Summy-Birchard published Farkas's book, he was a solo horn player for the Chicago Symphony and had held similar positions with other orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and Kansas City Conservatory, DePaul University, Northwestern University, and Roosevelt University in Chicago. The Art of French Horn Playing set the pattern, and other books in the series soon followed, offering help to students in learning to master their instruments and achieve their goals.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Philip Farkas's book is still the best. May it long be published! (Perhaps I speak prematurely. I have not yet seen Verne Reynolds's new book on horn playing, published by the Amadeus Press.) There are a few areas where I would like to see it brought more up to date, though. In the chapter devoted to maintenance, Farkas advocates using valve oil for lubricating the valves. That is out of date advice that I religiously followed and quickly wore out my valves' bearings, which made them clack within a couple of months of purchase of the horn. Nowadays, the better advice is to lubricate the upper and lower bearings with key oil, which has much more lubricity than valve oil, and to use valve oil strictly between the rotor and the casing as a space filler, administering the oil through the valve slides. Ever since I started searching for it in 1959, I never did find Linen Cuttyhunk string, but I think technology has moved ahead and what's now available will outlast that string...
This book made me! Farkas' book is the most complete guide to playing horn I have ever read. It offers everything from lip position to advice for stage fright, and the BEST warmups you can ever use. Play his warmups for about half an hour every day, and in a month I guarantee you'll see results. This book made me the performer I am, and I can't emphasize enough how valuable it is to a horn player on any level. Buy it; it's well worth it!
I refer to this book CONSTANTLY as a guide for practicing, and playing. I've also recommended this book to all of my horn pals. It covers (and explains) everything: tuning, warm-up, embouchure, transposing, hand placement, etc. with helpful pictures. If you're serious about horn playing, this is a MUST in your library of books -- leave it in your music folder!!
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