Double French Horn Parts

French Horn Parts

Do you want to learn about the parts of double French horns and their functions? Then read our guide for more facts and information…

French horn facts

A French horn is a made from a combination of different parts, carefully integrated together to project the sound of the horn. In all the double French horn consists of a bell, bell pipe mouthpiece, lead pipe, spit valve, rotary valves, a fourth valve to change to and from the F and B keys.

The double French horn has long tubing for the F pitch and short tubing for the B flat pitch. Lastly the horn consists of slides and an adjustable hand rest. The following are the important parts of the horn which are essential for any French horn.


Mouth piece is the name given to the small metallic piece which the hornist presses his lips against to play the horn. This movement creates the first sound of the French horn. When the player buzzes his lips, vibration is created inside the mouthpiece. This enhances the sound, making it richer.

Lead Pipe

A lead pipe is a long, straight length of tube whose purpose is to support the mouthpiece in place.

It helps to transform the tone and sound quality of the horn. When the sound echoes through the lead pipe is leads to an overtone series. Musical acoustics use this term to vibration of the horn in a pattern of distinct pitches.  During playing, this occurs when the tubing is added to the mouthpiece and the player feels the buzz with pitches.


The remaining tubing of the horn is meant to transform and shape the sound from the buzz and the vibration. It is the application of the overtone series where the buzz goes into a range of pitches.

The overall tubing is long yet not directly attached in all parts. Each different length of tube is combined distinctly to create the variations in the pitch and different tones.


The valves are operated manually by the player with the fingers of the left hand. This allows and controls the flow of air through.

When the player pressed keys in different combos the air flows in a manner where it enters some areas and is restricted from others. This mechanism manipulates the pitch by making the tubing shorter or longer depending on the flow.


The bell is located at the end of the horn’s tubing. It is a large flared cone made from metal. The bell amplifies the sound created in the tubing which makes the sound loud and clearer for the audience.

Whenever purchasing a double French horn it is important to note the quality of the mentioned important parts as they determine the sound of the horn and the overall playing experience.

( 1 assessment, average 5 from 5 )