Early Classical Orchestra Horn by Anton Kerner, Vienna, 1760

Early Classical Orchestra Horn by
Anton Kerner, Vienna, 1760

A short description of the original:

  • Anton Kerner senior (1726-1806), Vienna, dated 1760 on bell garland
  • Wound very small, in 2 ½ turns, no tuning slide
  • Narrow bell profile, bell diameter approx. 25 cm


This is an important instrument, because it fills the gap between the baroque orchestra horn, now often played “bells up” for pre-1750 literature, and the classical horn, which makers have most often copied from instruments of around 1800 or later. The period that has been neglected includes most of the output of Joseph Haydn, W. A. Mozart, Rosetti, the Mannheim composers, and other early classical composers.

The easy upper range helps to explain the early solo, chamber, and symphonic writing of Haydn, Johann Stamitz symphonies, Rosetti solo and double concertos, and other high horn playing in the early classical style when the clarino range was still very much part of the high horn player’s technique. The horn is also remarkable for its clear, centered stopped notes throughout the range, which indicates that the development of this type of bell design was necessary for the further refinement of the chromatic handstopping technique begun by Josef Hampl and the previous generation of players.

This is likely the kind of horn used by German players in the important centers of horn playing, and apparently by German horn players working in Paris. This would presumably have been the type of instrument used in the 1760s and 70s by the early traveling soloists such as Punto, Türrschmidt, and Palsa, using a well developed system of chromatic handstopping.

This model is made with a G crooks and four couplers (F, E, Eb, D). Crooks for C alto, Bb alto, A, and couplers for C basso are priced seperately. Bb basso can be played with the G crook, C basso coupler and E coupler. The pitch level of the crooks is A=430 for classical orchestra playing, but 415 or 440 will also be an option.

Pricing (in US $)
Kerner Early Classical Horn with G Crook &
four couplers - F, E, Eb, D (A=430 or 415)
Extra Crooks
C alto     $150
Bb alto     $200
A     $205
Extra coupler for C basso     $130
Total for horn and Crooks from C alto to Bb basso     $4385

Prices effective January 1, 2014