If you studied with Mr. Winch you would play a horn like this
Baroque Horn

Label :

Serial Number:
Date of Manufacture:
G, F, E, E, D, C, B, B (A=440 or 415)
1.11 cm (I.D. of crook tenon)
Bell Flare:
5.5 cm.
Bell Diameter:
Base Metal:
yellow brass with nickel-silver trim
(click on photos for larger view)

This is a magnificent copy made by Dr. Lowell Greer of a baroque orchestral horn by John Christopher Hofmaster, London. It is constructed to be played with the bell held to the player’s left while a mirror-image companion horn would be held with the bell the right. It was fashionable in the baroque period for two players to play with their bells facing one another (see ilustration from an eighteenth century horn tutor, below). The horn is complete with corpus, 2 master crooks (baroque and modern pitch), 5 couplers, and various tuning bits.

Lowell Greer, PhD, DMA, DD, is a master builder of brass instruments. His honors include Fellow of the Geyer Guild and Grand Master of the American Hunting Horn Society. He is a former faculty member at the  University of Michigan, Cincinnati College Conservatory, University of Windsor, Oakland University, School of Perfection/ Mexico City, the Carl Neilsen Academy Hultgren Chair for Horn. His teaching experience includes forty-one years of private teaching of university, graduate, and high school level students, eighty-one former students hold posts in 37 professional orchestras, 35 universities, and chamber ensembles. He is  currently the holder of the Hultgren Chair, which partially subsidizes the tuition costs of horn lessons. His playing experience includes Detroit Symphony, Mexico City Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Waukesha Symphony, Antwerp Philharmonic, Early Music Orchestras in San Francisco, Washington DC, New York City, Boston, Ann Arbor, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Lameque, Cologne, Frankfurt, Toulouse, Chicago, and other locations.

John Christopher Hofmaster (? - 1764) is believed to be of German descent. The earliest documentation of his presence in London is as a ratepayer in Piccadilly in 1751, although he is presumed to have been established earlier elsewhere. By 1763 he was sharing his premises with George Henry Rodenbostel (? - 1789), who continued the business after the death of Hofmaster in 1764. It is also believed that Rodenbostel mariied a daughter of Hofmaster in 1776. It is thought that Hofmaster was responsible for introducing the first horns with tuning crooks into England.

According to Jeremy Montegue:
"It is noteworthy that not until John Christopher Hofmaster (whom I presume to have started life as Johann Christoph) arrived in London, did the English instruments begin to show a comparable skill; one of our two Hofmasters (portrayed in the Sharpe Family painting in the National Portrait Gallery)  is made in a single piece from the crook socket to the bell; the other has a short first section, followed by a single piece. The skill required is not so great, since the crook socket is of much wider diameter than the lead-pipe of the Viennese and Nürnberg instruments, and the instruments are much shorter because of the use of crooks and couplers, but it does show a considerable advance over the older English tradition."

Frontispiece from New Instructions for the French Horn Containing The most modern and best methods for Learners to Blow, To which are Added all the Hunting notes, and a Collection of Tunes, Marches, Minuets, &c. purposely adapted for that Instrument by an Eminent Performer, reprinted by Monro & May (second quarter nineteenth century) from the earlier same title by Longman & Lukey.
Mr. (Christopher) Winch or Wynch was one of the original members of the Royal Society of Musicians. He joined in 1739  and appears to have been active until about 1755. Like other London-based musicians, Winch  spent at least part of the 1740s in Dublin.  In October 1741 the The Dublin News-Letter advertised: “Between the Acts of the Play, ‘a concerto on the French Horn by the Celebrated Mr. Winch, who has perform’d several years in Mr Handel’s Operas and Oratorios.’” Returning to London he appears in a concert at the Devil Tavern in March 1745. In that year he also published  his treatise The Compleat Tutor for the French Horn, the first of its kind for horn. It appears to have been intended for amateurs and servants to the aristocracy and speaks only of the simple,crookless instrument available in several keys. The following year it was publised by John Simpson.  The tutor starts wiith hunting music and proceeds to more advanced duets and “art” music. Winch’s tutor was reprinted in many versions, beginning with H.Waylett’s The French Horn Master in about 1750, then reappeared in an almost exact reprint in 1756 in an edition by Peter Thompson, and surfaced again under the title, Instructions for the French Horn in 1757 as part of a series of tutors known collectively as Apollo,s Cabinet. In this form it seems to have had reasonable circulation. In  about 1780, an anonymous “eminent performer” quoted it verbatum in parts of the New Instructions for the French Horn. 




Montagu, Jeremy. The French Horn Shire Album 254. Buckinghamshire, UK: Shire Publications, 1990. ISBN 0747800863

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)

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

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