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Reviving an easy to make horn instrument with potential

Reviving an easy to make horn instrument with potential

Postby Rasmus Brusin » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:24 pm

I recently stumbled upon this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8OtY2tMa2k

This instrument type includes cornetto, bukkehorn and few others. As can be heard this, as I call it, “keyed horn”, has somewhat reed instrument like sound and a good range when used right.
I fell for these horns that instant.

Smoothly shaped single piece instrument, so it doesn’t break easily. Small size, so it can fit into most bags. That nice midpoint between horn, saxophone and Mideastern reed instrument sound. And while brass mouthpiece blowing has its difficulties, the technique for this instrument is nowhere near as difficult as some other brass or woodwind instruments.

I then searched for brass instruments of this type, and my student budget slammed into around 60€ or more price point, and only couple of sellers.
So then I searched for something like Flutomat, DIY flute makers best friend, or simple measurements for making my own keyed horn. And would you know it, keyed horn instruments have really fallen out of common musical communities knowledge for 150 years or so.

While I could buy three meters or so of pipes in different materials, and start testing measurements painstakingly slowly for right tone qualities, it would still lack the horns width for inserting my fingers.
And as I pondered the possibilities, I thought “why has no one made this SIMPLE TO DESIGN, GOOD FOR LEARNERS, FOR MULTIPLE MUSICAL TASTES, CHEAP IF MADE FROM PLASTIC, and so on instrument in this age where even tubas get mass produced?”, as I calculated that you could make it for same price/quality division as recorders.

As I made that comparison, I made THIS Image basic design in my head, with same type of sliding joints as recorders have to divide it to three parts. If those parts would be put on reverse order, the horn takes maybe 2/5 of original space, bonus for travelers.
I am not starting a business from this, as I lack the drive to be a businessman. And if someone wants to start something with this, please don’t put the price as high as was on box didgeridoo, something similar of this vein.

But, onto the point. Does someone have experience of this type of instruments measurements? I would probably make it out of pvc.
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Re: Reviving an easy to make horn instrument with potential

Postby Rasmus Brusin » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:11 pm

Sorry, the image didn't work, try this link http://imgur.com/gallery/Yh9tm0X
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Re: Reviving an easy to make horn instrument with potential

Postby Rasmus Brusin » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:54 am

Continuation from last posting.
I found by random luck a cheap quality (15€) bugle yesterday, and bought it to test my design for an hand muted cornett.
I drilled a tone hole to the start of bell tube, and two holes backwards into rest of the tubing with 3" between the holes.
I attached test sound clips for this modified bugle into this post.
It is better to know that I don't have any skill with brass instruments.
Attachments

muted high range.mp3 [ 126.76 KiB | Viewed 1029 times ]

muted low range.mp3 [ 189.26 KiB | Viewed 1029 times ]

neutral high range.mp3 [ 126.76 KiB | Viewed 1029 times ]
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Re: Reviving an easy to make horn instrument with potential

Postby Rasmus Brusin » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:28 am

Final posting.
I got myself short piece of thick pvc pipe, and molded a demo of my desing.
Lenght from mouthpiece to end was 9,7", and I drilled holes on 4,75", back 5,5", 6,5" and 8,25" spots, with 1/4" hole diameter.
Sadly this smaller horn, while having large range with different techniques, does not have amazing sound.
I would compare the sound to throat singing, which did make a fun joke instrument, but nothing for serious use.
So I came to a conclusion. For a cornett to sound good, it has to be of lenght that has been already seen.
But even if recorder lenght cornetts can't be made, other desing elements would work.
Moldining the mouthpiece to be part of cornett, having it in three slide locked pieces and having enought opening horn shape that the cornett could be packed into smaller size.
Though the hand muting techniques require to have only 5 tone holes, so that or 6-9 holes.
Thank you to all who have read my little instrument testing journal!
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Re: Reviving an easy to make horn instrument with potential

Postby Jim McConkey » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:09 pm

What diameter pipe were you using, and how did you form it into a conical shape? A cylindrical pipe will not have the same tone as a conical pipe, and a lot has to do with the cup you make for blowing into and your lip technique.
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Re: Reviving an easy to make horn instrument with potential

Postby Hans Bezemer » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:38 am

Rasmus, That's a cool experiment you're doing.
I'm also experimenting with pvc pipe flutes, there's an interesting link to a PHD thesis, which also deals with conical shaped instruments.
The rate between length and the slope (is that the right word for it?) of the cone is important.

Just a thought, you could try to make a cone from cardboard / sturdy paper and experiment with that. It will deteriorate after a while due to the moisture but it can give you some decent info on desired measurements.
Else, if you have a butcher nearby, you could check if they can obtain some cow horns. I needed some pieces of bones once and my local butcher liked the experiment and was happy to help my out.

Please keep us posted!

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Re: Reviving an easy to make horn instrument with potential

Postby Hans Bezemer » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:05 pm

I've found someone how makes a recorder style flute from a piece of paper, so paper could be a good starting point.

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Re: Reviving an easy to make horn instrument with potential

Postby Daniel Bingamon » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:14 pm

FYI - Open ended flutes use no more than 2 deg from center for reverse conical. The taper on a saxophone and bagpipes is 3 deg from center.

Most closed ended pipes are at least 1/2 the diameter of open ended.
If you look at the modern Cornet and Trumpet, the Trumpet is a straight bore throughout until you get past all the valves and then it expands outward according to some bessel function (I don't know the parameters) that defines the bell section. Now, the modern Cornet is very gradually tapered throughout the instrument also ending with an expanding bessel function that defines the bell. Many say that the Cornet has a darker sound - the tone is very different.
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