The English horn belongs to the oboe family. It has double reeds and produces a lower pitch as it is tuned to the key of F. It is commonly played by oboists, despite the lack of solo pieces available for it. Its timber is ideal for slow orchestral movements.
Types of English Horns
Kinds of English Horns include the following:
Plastic English horns
Plastic English horns are mainly made of lightweight plastic resin, but their bell rings, posts, and bands are plated in silver. The wire springs and arbors are made of stainless steel, and the keys are made of nickel silver plated in silver. The adjusting screws are made of stainless steel and Teflon tips. It is built with a full conservatory system with an additional F left hand key.
Wood English horns
Wood English horns are usually made of durable Grenadilla wood and built with a full conservatory system with additional trill keys such as A flat to B flat, G sharp to A, E flat to E, and low B to C sharp. It can even come with an extension for producing low B flat tones. The keys are usually silver-plated.
Choosing English Horns (Buying tips)
Skill level: If you are a beginner, choose an inexpensive plastic resin English horn to practice on. It offers good tonal qualities just like a genuine wood English horn.
Accessories: If you are a beginner, look for an English horn that comes with accessories for maintenance and cleaning such as cork grease and silk swabs for keeping your instrument in good condition.