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Discussion Starter #1
My bari was in the shop, so I took my French horn to rehearsal - and found out that it was easy to cover the bari part on horn. (The bari's bottom A is the horn's first-line bass-clef G, which is at the bottom of the normal range for a 4th horn player, and a high E on bari is a horn's D in the staff, which is right in the golden range.)

So covering bari is easy for a low horn player, but covering tenor would easily fit any horn player's range. (Tenor high F is a horn's high Bb, which will sound like a high note but isn't extreme.) Alto probably wouldn't work - the notes above the staff would wear out a horn player.

The colors fit better than I expected - horn is the woodwindiest of the brass. Anyway, this kludge might be of more interest to hornists or desperate directors, but I thought I'd mention it - I've never heard of this expedient before.

(Of course, the possibility of covering bari with an alto instrument just shows that "baritone" isn't "bass", and any concert band needs a REAL bass sax to round out the sax section!!)
 

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I've never heard of such a substitution before, either. (I've also never heard of a baritone saxophonist who plays French horn as well, so kudos to you.) Frankly, in our band and indeed most of the time when it comes up in the written music, the procedure is the reverse: saxes cover the horn parts when necessary. Sometimes the saxes may have written cues for two or three different horn parts (e.g., 1st alto may have 1st horn; 2nd alto may have 2nd horn; tenor may have 3rd horn). Although I usually don't see the horns parts themselves, I can't recall a case in which the horns were actually asked to play any saxophone cues that they might have had in their parts. And no one has ever asked a horn to simply substitute altogether for a missing sax chair. Frankly, the saxes usually have a large technical advantage, which means we can handle their parts, but not vice versa.
 

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:mrgreen:so what you are saying is that the horn section of an orchestra can be replaced with a really good sax section. :mrgreen:
 

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My bari was in the shop, so I took my French horn to rehearsal - and found out that it was easy to cover the bari part on horn.
Context is everything. Are you talkin' community band arrangements? I cannot imagine have a French horn cover the bari part in a big band. It's just wrong in that context. You may play the equivalent notes but that's about all.
 

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I always liked the idea of a real woodwind quintett, so I wrote a piece with 4 short movements for flute, oboe, clarinet, tenorsax and bassoon - tenor replacing the horn in this context. I started writing for altosax, but the lower range of the tenor fitted much better.
I was astonished, that there are few pieces for this combination (I remember a nice piece from victor morosco with alto).
 

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:mrgreen:so what you are saying is that the horn section of an orchestra can be replaced with a really good sax section. :mrgreen:
I might not mind seeing that as an experiment, but it's never going to happen. Or maybe it depends on the orchestra. :)

Some instruments can boast of having lots of pretty competent players among the ranks of amateur musicians. My experience is that the French horn is not one of these. Really solid amateur horn players are hard to come by; hence all the cues for their parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Dr G: Right, this was a community band and odd circumstances. I wouldn't dream of try this in a swing band.

Tarogot: that's a very logical step, though I think the horn adds a nice quirky difference to the colors. I performed on horn with a WW quintet, and found that a lot of the passagework which was routine for the other four was rather challenging to play on horn - at least with good articulation - so I can understand the attractions of going to all woodwind. Howver, I would offer up the bassoon part as a different candidate for replacement by sax (or sarrusophone).
 

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