D.R.G.M. 84240

Zeitschrift für Instrumentenbau, November 1, 1899. p.98
The firm of Ed. Kruspe was established in Erfurt, Germany in 1864 by Johann Eduard Kruspe (1831-1919), elder son of Carl Kruspe (1808 - 1885). Carl Kruspe had established his workshop originally in Mühlhausen in Thüringen (1829 - 1836) then Erfurt (1836 - after 1930) for the manufacture of brass and woodwind instruments. Rather than going into business with his father, Eduard established his own workshop as successor to Carl Zielsdorf. In 1893 the firm was turned over to Eduard's son Fritz Kruspe (ca. 1862 - 1909) who continued the business under his father's name.

 In 1897, Fritz Kruspe, in collaboration with Edmund Gumpert,1 built the first true double horn with dual tandem change valves. It was registered for the protection of its designs and patterns under the title “Metal-Blechblasininstrument mit Doppelzylindermechanik und gelenkig verbundenen Stellventilen neben den Doppelzugventilen” (metal wind instrument with double cylinder mechanics and articulated connected control valves beside the double course valves), DRGM 84 240,  dated November 13, 1897. 2  It was extended for a second three-year period on September 27,  1900.

Announcement of D.G.R.M. 84240 in Zeitschrift für Instrumentenbau, December 1, 1897,  p. 181
The innovations described and protected in D.R.G.M 84 240 pertain to the newly-devised set of two-story F/B-flat rotory valves and the tandem change valves. 

Figures 1 and 2 from D.R.G.M. 84240 courtesy of Tatehiko and Katsushi Sakaino
A pair of rotary change valves (numbered as 2 on the left side of the above illustrations, and 2a at right side) are connected together by a rod (4) such that they rotate in tandem when the thumb tab (7) attached to the rod is depressed. (Note: a spring (not shown) returns the rod to the initial position when the thumb tab is released.) Assume that the horn is pitched in F when the rod is in the initial position (thumb tab is not pressed). In this case the air column from the mouthpipe (13) is directed by the upper change valve 2a, through the F-extension (11), then into the F-side of the 3 rotary valves (1) and the associated connecting tubes (8), to the lower change valve (2)  and finally out to the first branch and bell. When the thumb tab is pressed the rod rotates both change valves in tandem to pitch the horn in B♭. The upper change valve (2a) directs the air column through the tube 10 into rank of B♭ valves (lower side of the 3 rotary valves) and the associated connecting tubes (9) to the lower change valve (2) and out to the first branch and bell. Note: This configuration is for a "full" double horn with independent full sized F and B♭ valve slides.

It must be mentioned, as some other authors have stated, that the same combination of tandem change valves and two-story rotary valves could also be employed for a compensating double horn, however the change valve ports would have to be reassigned and extra tubing added directly connecting the two change valves. That configuration is not at all as described in the D.R.G.M 84 240 documents and it must be concluded that the 1897 model was a full double horn. 3
1. Two-story F/B♭ rotary valves
2. Lower rotary change valve
2a. Upper rotary change valve
3. Change valve rotor stops
4. Change valves connecting rod
5. Change valves rotor stop corks
6. Change valves stop pins
7. Change valves thumb tab
8. Valve connecting tubes (F-side)
9. Valve connecting tubes (B♭-side)
10. Valve connecting tube (upper change valve to 1st valve B♭-side)
11. F extension tubing
12. Tubing to first branch and bell
13. Tubing from mouthpipe

D.R.G.M. 84240 as full double
In 1898 Prof. Josef Lindner of Wurzbburg submitted an article to Deutsche Musikerzeitung in which he advocated the B-flat horn in place of the F-horn especially in high register. In reply, Richard Tournauer, self-described as "only the simple third hornist" of the municipal orchestra in Cologne, admitted that the B-flat horn is more secure in the high register, but pointed out that the classic master composers preferred the tone color of the F-horn. Herr Tournaur concluded that there could be no perfect solution so long as B-flat and F-horn players are dogmatic about their choice of instruments. In response to this discussion there appeared the following description of the Gumpert-Kruspe double horn compromise, presumably by the editor of Deutsche Musikerzeitung, identified only as "r.":
Noch einmal F- oder B-Horn
Die verehrtem Leser der D.M.Z. werden es dem Schreiber dieser Zeilen nicht verübeln, daß ihnen heut, nach kaum einer Woche, dieses Thema shon wieder als Samstagfrühstück aufgetischt wird. Hr. Lindner-Würzburg weist in seinem vortrefflichen Artikel (Nr. 34 d. Zt.) mid Recht  auf die Vollkommenheit des gegenwärtigen F-Hornes - in Hinsicht auf die Schwierigkeit des Blasens in der Höhe - hin und empfielt die Einführung der B-Stimmung, welche jedoch wiederum eine Unzulänglichkeit in den tiefen Registern bedingen dürfte. Wenn es bis jetzt "nicht gut möglich war, auf dem Horn den ganzen Umfang zu bewältigen", so wird dieses möglich gemacht durch das
System "Gumpert-Kruspe"
Eine neue Waldhorn-Konstruktion die - als Produkt langjährigan Nachsinnens und enermüdlicher versuche der Herren Hofmusicus Edmund Gumpert (Meiningen) und Hof-Instrumentenfabrikant Eduard Kruspe (Erfurt) - in den weltesten Interressentenkreisen bekannt zu werden verdient. Zu Grunde liegt dieser neuen Erfindung ein F-Horn: durch den Niederdruck eines mit dem Daumen bequem zu diriigierenden Drehventils is der ausübende Kunstler ohne Weiteres in die Lage, die bezüglichen F-bogen incl. Ventilüge für die schwingende Luftsäule abzuschließen und letztere dafür durch die B-Bogen mit B-Horn Ventilzügen zu leiten, welche auf höchst ingeniöse Weise mit dem Instrumente kombiniert sind und ganz unvermittelt ein Aufsteigen aus dem  volltönenden F-Horn in die leicht und sicher ansprechende Höhe des B-Hornes gestatten.
Again F- or B-flat-horn
The dear readers of the D.M.Z. will not blame the writer of this, that the same theme is presented to their Saturday's breakfast table, again after a week. Herr Lindner is right, to point to the imperfection of the actual F-horn by his excellent article in the 34 of this journal - regarding the difficulty to produce the high notes - and recoomends the use of the B-flat-horn, which would effect an imperfection again but for the lower register. If it was not possible to manage the whole compass of the horn, so this might be possible now by the

System "Gumpert-Kruspe"

A new construction of Waldhorn which should be brought to knowledge of all interested, a product of many years thinking about and indefatigable experiments of the Court musician Edmund Gumpert at Meiningen and the Coutrt instrument maker Eduard Kruspe at Erfurt. The basis for this invention is an F-horn: by pressing an easy to handle rotary valve by the thumb, the executing artist is capable without any problem, to close the F-crook inclusive the valve slides for the sounding air column, but leat the latter one through the B-flat crook and the B-flat valve slides, which are combined with the instrument in the most ingenious possible manner, and which allows an immediate asscent to the height of the B-flat horn coming from the full-sounding F-horn.

[Pizka, 1986, p. 288ff]

In a two-part article titled "Ein neues Doppelhorn" [A New Double Horn] published in 1899 in Zeitschrift für Instrumentenbau, hornist, historian, and composer Hermann Eichborn describes the Gumpert-Kruspe design as a full double horn in F and B-flat (see illustration above). There is an example of this horn in the present collection and a horn of this design by an anonymous maker is in the collection of the Deutsches Museum, Munich (no. 15265).  4

Following a lengthy summary of the history of the horn and its peculiar difficulties, Dr. Eichborn arrives at a detailed description of the Gumpert-Kruspe horn at the end of the second part of his article:
But the famous old firm of Eduard Kruspe in Erfurt brings before us something totally new, and it is what the title of my essay has indicated in advance.

Until now, it was only known how to turn a B-horn into an F-horn, 5   but E. Kruspe, who was inspired by an idea by Gumpert, the third horn player in the Saxony-Meiningen Ducal Hofkapelle, gives us in his patented new construction  an F-horn that can instantly mutate into a B-horn. The exemplar in my possession of this new invention has demanded my high interest and compels me not only by the ingenious idea embodied here, but also from the brilliant technical execution in the same respect and recognition.

On the surface Kruspe's double horn's looks like any other F horn. If we look closer, we notice that 6 valve slides, three for the F- and three for the B-lengths lie with a valve with lever handle and a tube which represents the B-length and can be pulled out at the end like a tuning slide. This  change valve is not in the longitudinal axis of the other valves, but is a little below them, and is depressed with the thumb of the left hands, while the three middle fingers of the same hand govern the three valves proper and the little finger, lying in the usual ring to support the instrument.

This is the first new idea in the Kruspe invention. The second, which completes it, is the stable attachment of a second series of valve trains, which I have already mentioned and which are set in use simultaneously with the opening of the B-length.  This is done easily on both in such a safe and ingenious manner through a fifth valve which lies beneath the [valve] mechanism, by a transmission lever rod with a strong spring connected to the mechanism of the above change valve such that with a pressure on the latter the former with the other opens simultaneously and enters into the lower B-horn air path eliminating the F-valve lengths. This complicated mechanism of the two connected valves works very exactly, and despite the accumulation of valves, tubes, paths and switching on an instrument that nevertheless is not heavier than many compact-built F-horns, which could be achieved only through very careful calculation and confirmed by lightest possible preparation  of each part.

As for the sound qualities of the new Kruspe double horn, it needs to be taken into consideration, that  a good F-horn is offered, which converts into a B-Horn, if you should play a high and difficult passage. An excellent in tone F-horn and at the same time a model B-horn, [are] grown together in a manner known as Siamese twins, except an excellent B-horn must be constructed after quite different principles than an F horn. It was in the present case only the high notes of the B-horn, and this leaves nothing to be desired however, whereas the lower range of this voice falls into a rather harsh alto  horn or trompet-like timbre. Unfortunately the necessary choice of narrow dimensions for the tubing and a more cylindrical path, does not otherwishe turn out the same. Also the conspicuous insufficient flare of the bell is explained by the actual purpose of the overall structure.

The result of the design proportions employed is indeed more powerful and more sonorous, but with a slightly depressed sound, which becomes somewhat bright and sharp with crescendo. On the other hand the ease of response is quite striking, and the purity, of the F sound at least, admirable. Since I did not conceal in the foregoing the inevitable shortcomings resulting from the resulting from the complication of the new design, I must also mention that depressing the change valve is just not very comfortable since all the weight instrument then rests on the naturally weak  little finger of the left hand and, by which the valve buttons should not be displaced, results in a constrained posture, which should not also burdon more than usual the worthy desire of freedom of movement of the right hand in the bell.  When one considers, however, that the use of the B horn is calculated to be for only a short time and reaches its end with the completion of the high passages, it is likely this defect does not attach much importance. However, in the interest of the new invention and to perfect its design, I want to advise to set up the change valve so that it can be established that the thumb would be free, and to achieve a quite light, unconstrained posture during the use of the B  horn. This could happen if the valve in question were set up on the kind of  Tonwechselmachine with adjusting disk originally invented by Cerveny in 1845. 6 The fact that the player would have to stop playing  the horn for a moment, would not detract from the value of the invention, since a sudden leap from the F and B voice is awkward for even the best player and apt to make the advantages of the whole arrangement illusory.  It requires the transition into the thinking in a completely altered transposition of notes, secondly intonation and different air flow and calculatiion of a whole new proportions of the natural intervals. Immense practice and certaintyand an excellent ear would be the prerquisites combining here. Therefore, a slight orientation and preparation for the new voice could be of use.

Still it should be emphasized that Kruspe's double horn in addition to its original purpose, to facilitate the high range of the F-horn player with the transition to B, another end was attained, than by the very complicated and impractical manner of the much-vaunted and persistent theoretical cor universal pursued by H. Chaussier 7 , namely by simple and combined use of valves to produce all the keys of the natural horn and to play them naturally.

In the Kruspe horn is this brought into existence, so as to obtain all the natural keys with the sole exception of B-flat basso without the combination of escalating and familiar valve trains, whereby a new fingering system is required and the whole unworkable affair fails,. A practical value, yet this possibility [of] natural keys as obtained in this way on a valve instrument has not the same  sound,  does not displace the crook of the simple horn and does not constitute a substitute for such.

Kruspe's invention fulfills its true purpose to the best and can be earnestly recommended for this. But it is of course not epoch-making for the horn market or horn playing, and it will not be.  The path of progress for the French horn is another, not of complication, but of simplification. Consider the instrument as purely chromatic and thereby train the player in all keys, avoid all retuning, replace the now almost crazy old notation by a uniform one taking into account only the sound and the actual pitch of the notes, and finally as much as possible improvement and design of the indispensable short instruments and the playing thereof - these are the goals, which must be worked on. How healthy people are characterized by a uniform atmosphere, how also is such a  hallmark of healthy single-minded progressive spirit on a straight path, so should it be a perfect musical instrument serving the higher purposes of art, standing as a complete and finished whole and to be subjected to no change of voice, no patchwork of additions, amendments and insertions.

Very special thanks to Tatehiko and Katsushi Sakaino, proprietors of  Curia Metallblasinstrumentenerzeugung and Ed. Kruspe Metallblasinstrumente for providing copies of the extant original Kruspe documents. Thanks also to Gerard Westerhof for providing the links to Zeitschrift für Instrumentenbau.  For further information and background see John Ericson's excellent article on The Double Horn and Its Invention.


1.  Edmund Gumpert was the third horn in the Hofkapelle in Meiningen, and was also a nephew of Leipzig horn virtuoso and teacher, Friedrich Gumpert.  Another name has also been associated with the development of the first double horn. On April 27, 2004 a contributor  identified as "Sabina" updated the German Wikipedia article on the topic of Waldhorn by adding the name Bartholomäus Geisig with Edouard [sic] Kruspe:
1897 konstruierten Eduard Kruspe und Bartholomäus Geisig aus Erfurt dann das erste Doppelhorn, hier waren die Stimmungen F und B in einem Instrument vereint und konnten mit einem Umschaltventil gewählt werden.
No citation has been given for this update nor has the name Bartholomäus Geisig been found in any other source, although it has been repeated on numerous web pages.

2. D.R.G.M. stands for Deutsches Reichsgebrauchsmuster, a registration created in 1891 for the purpose of protecting for three years the design or function of an item throughout all of the German states (Act Nr. 1957, June 1 1891).  D.R.G.M. registered products were protected either for their way of intended use or design, but this did not include patent protection. Patent rights were secured by applying for a Deutsches Reichspatent (D.R.P.). No D.R.P. has been found for this Kruspe horn. A possible reason that only a Gebrauchsmuster (utility patent) was sought by Firma Kruspe is that an altogether similar (if not equivalent) patent had already been granted to A. Lecomte et Cie. in France (Brevet no. 173024, 1885) and Germany (DRP  38809, 1886) and were apparently still in effect.  The Lecomte patents were for a double brass instrument utilizing dual tandem change valves connected by a rod. As an example they describe in detail a full double cornet à piston with the change valves operated by the index finger of the left hand. These patents state clearly that the same principle can be applied to rotary valves.  According to the Gebrauchsmuster Act "Models are so far not as new, as they have already been described at the time of registration made under this Act in public documents or used manifestly within the country" and permission from the previous patent holder (Lecomte) would have been required if the Kruspe design was considered similar enough. A Gegbrauchsmuster was more easily granted and cheaper than a full DRP, but was only valid for three years with an optional three-year extention.


3.  Both Anthony Baines (1976, p. 224) and Herbert Heyde (1987, p.182) incorrectly state that the first double horn by Kruspe was a compensating horn but neither gives a citation for this statement. Baines describes the difference between compensating and full double horns and adds that a Waldhorn in B mit F-maschine was exhibited by Kruspe at a trade show in Markneukirchen in 1897. In fact Firma Kruspe did not exhibit in the 25-year jubilee of the Markneukirchen Gewerbverein in  August, 1897 since it was still occupied at the summer-long Sächsiche-Thüringen Industrie- und Gewerbe-Ausstellung held in Leipzig at the same time. For that event Kruspe exhibited a large number of instruments, but only showed three single horns. Since D.R.G.M. 82420 wasn't filed until October 1897,  Kruspe probably didn't want to show it before until it was protected.  Dr. Heyde compounds the error even further by contradicting the article by Hermann Eichborn (ZfI, 1899, p. 981) by stating that it and the unsigned example in the Deutsches Museum in Munich (Nr. 15265)  actually pertain to the patent for a combination B/high-B Cornet (DRP 117592) by Friedrich Butti from August 13, 1899. Unfortunately this error has since been spread throughout subsequent publications, including the official catalog of the exhibition of Kruspe intruments at Erfurt in 2012, and, of course, throughout the Internet. No evidence has been found that there was ever a compensating double horn in the modern sense prior to 1906 when the instruments by Gebr. Alexander (Model 102) and Ed. Kruspe (Gumpert-Kruspe, D.R.G.M. 295 125) were introduced.

4. Another beautiful example of this model is owned by Mr. Tomohiro Yamamoto, who is a member of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and a Kruspe enthusiast. It is described on his web blog (in Japanese) and another page shows the linkage of the tandem valves in detail.

5.  In this article, prior to this quoted passage on the Gumpert-Kruspe, double horn,  Eichborn describes the possibility of adding an F extension to a B-flat horn as on a trombone (Quartventil). He then remarks that the resulting F-horn would only be fully chromatic if the valve slides were sufficiently long to allow them to be pulled out to the length of F slides. He does not go so far, however, as to say this has ever been actually implemented, nor implied that the Gumpert-Kruspe was originally compensating. Of course later, B-flat horns would become available with F-extensions for the purpose of providing some of the missing harmonics in the lower register without compensating valves to make them fully chromatic.

6. The Tonwechsel-Maschine patented by V.F. Cerveny on April 26, 1846, was a multi-position tap used by several German manufacturers and also adopted by Gautrot for his improved omnitonic horn. Eichborn argues here that the time it takes to interrupt playing to turn the dial on the Tonwechsel is actually useful to the player to prepare for the difference in playing characteristics between the F and B horn. [See also John Ericson's article on "What Was The Omnitonic Horn?"]

7. Henri Chaussier (1854 - ?) was a virtuoso natural horn player but when he was engaged for a season in Berlin he was expected to play everything on a German valved horn with which he had no experience. Instead, he had an omnitonic natural horn with four-valves capable of all the keys from B-flat atlto to B-flat Basso, but with his own arcane cascading fingering patterns making it impractical to play as a valved horn.  (See Morley-Pegge, 1973, p.63.)

Baines, Anthony. Brass Instruments, Their History and Development. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976. ISBN 0684152290

Dullat, Günter. Metallblasinstrumentenbau, Verlag Erwin Bochinsky, Frankfurt am Main, 1989

Eichborn, Hermann. "Ein neues Doppelhorn",  Zeitschrift für Instrumentenbau, Paul de Wit, Leipzig, v. 20, n.3, October 21, 1899 and v.20, n.4, November 1, 1899.

Heyde, Herbert. Das Ventilblasinstrument, Seine Entwicklun im deutschsprachigen Raum von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart. Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1987. ISBN 3765102253

Langer, Arne; Wenke, Wolfgang; Musikinstrumente von Weltrang - Die Firma Kruspe in Erfurt, Stadtmuseum und Theater Erfurt, 2012

Morley-Pegge, Reginald. The French Horn. A Benn Study, Music, Instruments of the Orchestra. Second Edition. London: Ernest Benn Limited/New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 1973. ISBN 0510366015 051036607 Pbk. 0393021718 (USA)

Pizka, Hans. Hornisten-Lexikon / Dictionary for Hornists. Kirchheim b. München: Hans Pizka Edition, 1986. ISBN 3922409040

Waterhouse, William. The New Langwill Index of Wind Instrument Makers and Inventors, pub.Tony Bingham, London 1993

 Send eMail to Dick Martz
Contents of this site and all original photographs copyright 1999-2011, Richard J.Martz
All rights reserved.