His Horn Throat Measurement Tool
I was asked to explain how I measure the "throat" diameter of a horn. I had to admit
that up to then it was very subjective and not always consistent. I was simply putting my
hand in the bell where I felt it would be most natural for playing and then measuring the
width at that point with calipers. Most horn makers and horn players describe the bell
throat as small or medium or large but I wanted to have something more concrete for
comparing the horns in this collection. I have now developed a formal
measurement tool, two actually, one for metric and the other for the equivalent "English"
measure. They are illustrated above.
Please DO NOT SAVE OR PRINT the above images.
They are not the correct size. Instead click on either one to link to a proper full-size
image which you may print to make your own measurements.
The gauge is based on the shape of a standard horn mute. I measured the base angles of
mutes by Ion Balu, Haussote, and Nuss and even the top part of my old Frank DePolis mute.
I was pleased to find that they all measure 79o at the base, making it easy to
establish a standard.
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