French horns are instruments with a very long history behind them, and like any other long-lived family of instruments, they've seen lots of changes and variations over the years. The result is a modern selection of French horns that offers plenty of variety, making the choice a bit more challenging than simply picking out the one with the best look and fit for your budget. Fortunately, it only takes a few steps to narrow down your options, so it won't take long to find the perfect horn for your own needs. From the beginner level all the way to ultra-high-end advanced instruments, this lineup of French horns has something to offer every player.
The biggest change to come to French horns over the years was all the way back in the 1800s, when the Bb horn was introduced to provide a more accurate high-end than the F horn, which was the standard up to that time. But the F horn had its own drawbacks in the lower register, which is why the two were eventually combined to create the double horn - and that's the most common variety you'll find here. Ranging from beginner-friendly models like the Allora AAHN-229 to professional-oriented instruments such as the Hans Hoyer C12-L Double Horn, they're incredibly well-rounded instruments, great for just about every kind of performance.
That's not to say single horns disappeared entirely, however. Their specialized sounds still have a welcome place in many bands, and with options like the Amati AHR 521 Series Single French Horn in the key of F, you'll find several of them here. One of the biggest advantages of single horns is their lighter weight, which also makes them well-suited to marching bands: in fact, there are French horns with special shapes designed specifically for that use, including the Jupiter 550 Series Marching Bb French Horn and the Blessing BM-400 Series Marching F French Horn. Lightweight, forward-facing, easy to lift and featuring piston valves instead of rotary ones, these are the way to go if you play in a marching band.
From the orchestra pit to the field, French horns can be found just about anywhere there's a band or orchestra. Their sound is a key component in too many compositions to count, and that means that as a French horn player, you're never hurting for opportunities to practice your technique and show off your skills... and thanks to the broad selection of French horns available here, you'll never be hurting for instrument options either.