Cor Anglais

The first thing always mentioned about the English horn, the alto of the double-reed family, is that it is neither English nor is it a horn.

Instrument: Cor Anglais

In this film, Jill Crowther introduces her instrument - the cor anglais. Why not download our iPad app, 'The Orchestra', to learn even more? Visit www.philharmonia.co.uk/app for more information.

The Philharmonia's Principal Cor Anglais' Chair is endowed by Mercedes and Michael Hoffman.

For more information on Chair Endowments, please visit: http://www.philharmonia.co.uk/support/individual/chair_endowment

To make matters more confusing, the instrument is often referred to by its French name, the cor anglais, all for obscure reasons. About one-and-a-half times the size of the oboe, the English horn is immediately recognised by its pronounced, pear-shaped bell. The sound is similar to, if slightly less honky than, the oboe, thickening nicely in the lower register. It is both a mellow melody instrument and a handy softener for the wind section's overall texture.

Fact File

Did you know?

The earliest known orchestral part specifically for the instrument is in Niccolò Jommellis opera Ezio written around 1749.

Frequency Range

165 - 932 Hz

Tube Length

93 cm