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Besson Alto Horns
What is an alto horn?
Alto (tenor) horns are musical instruments from the saxhorn family and are commonly found in British brass bands. They are popular amongst both experienced wind instrument players as well as those who are new to wind instruments.
They have been made in various shapes and sizes over the years, but they now resemble the shape of a mini tuba. The deep mouthpiece and conical bore produce a mellow tone, which is often used to support cornets, flugelhorns and trumpets.
Why buy an alto horn?
- Price - Alto horns are very cheap compared to other instruments like valve trombones. They are a great option for musicians who are already competent with other wind instruments
- Size - The alto horn is small and light unlike other instruments in the saxhorn family, making them comfortable to play for longer periods of time. They are an ideal alternative to the bulky, oversized saxhorn instruments
- Sound - Alto horns have a more delicate sound compared to other instruments that they are commonly played alongside. On their own, alto horns have a full note that has been known to sound very similar to a valve trombone. They often appeal to musicians who are not willing to compromise on sound quality. Cheaper models will have significantly worse intonation compared to quality models
- Larger mouthpiece - Many artists struggle to play comfortably on instruments like the trombone due to their small mouthpieces. This can make it difficult to attain a proper seal with the mouth and limits to length of time that you can practice for. Alto horns have a larger mouthpiece unlike many brass and wind instruments. The large mouthpiece makes it much easier for the musician to play. It is possible to fit smaller mouthpieces to build up the musician’s tolerance