Difference Between Double vs Single French Horns [Beginner Knowledge]

French Horn is a horn with a beautiful, poetic, noble, thoughtful, emotional sound. There are two types of French horns that are used quite commonly: Double vs Single French Horns. Because of its special sound, many people also list it on the list of wooden trumpets. However, this type of horn is completely made of metal. As you know, any form of music education has amazing benefits. Therefore, you want to try your hand at French horn. However, you don’t really understand the French horn, and don’t know what is the difference between a single horn and a double horn. In this article, all your questions will be answered clearly, accurately and easily.


What is a French horn?


The Cor (French horn) is a type of brass trumpet with a circular shape. It was invented in France around 1650 for use in hunting, hence the name cor de chasse (or “hunting trumpet”). Since the 1930s known simply as “horns” in some professional music circles. Physically, its tube is curved in a circular shape with a funnel-shaped mouthpiece. It has rotary valves, so when the player presses down on one valve, it automatically closes or opens the different valves. Most players find the French horn difficult to play, however it can play almost any note with any finger. In low-pitched notes, the horn sounds very nice. The higher you go, the better and more stable and brighter it sounds.

The brass industry is often divided into different fields of activity, which are playing in academic symphony orchestras, military orchestras serving national ceremonies, jazz orchestras, big bands and orchestras for entertainment purposes to music lovers. The French horn is most commonly used by players in professional orchestras and bands. A French trumpet player known as a horn player.

Difference Between Double and Single French Horns

The number of sliding valves per rotor is the main difference between Single and Double French Horns. In other words, the single horn has only one slide valve per rotor, while the dual horn has two valves.

In terms of weight, the single horn is lighter in weight and less complex than the double horn. Therefore, it is very suitable for beginners to play the horn. The single horn has a warm deep tone and great versatility. It helps beginners to nurture their passion, satisfy their interests and develop in this instrument. With the single horn, they deliver a world of vibrant, expressive sound.

In terms of functionality, a single French horn exists in two forms: F or Bb, while a double French horn is a combination of both F and Bb. When playing the double horn, the instrument player can choose the right moment to play at Bb or F. For solo players, older people or complex ensemble players, the double horn is truly a companion.

Types of French horns

As mentioned earlier, the French horn has 2 main types of horns: single horn and double horn. There is also a specific type of triple horn known as the hygroscopic horn. Since it is not very popular, we will not cover it in this article. The two main types of French horn have different characteristics and effects. Join us to discover them now! Depending on your skills and abilities, choose the type that best suits you.

Single Horns


As its name suggests, the single horn has only one slide valve (located on each rotor). All single horns have this common feature, even though they have different keys. F and Bb are two forms that exist in a single horn. Horns in F are the most common type of single horn. Because of its lightweight and affordable cost, almost every beginner chooses it. Many people still want to try and start playing with Bb horns, however, for beginners, they are not recommended to play. Because, it will be very difficult to handle them smoothly and smoothly.

Horns in F


Single horns, specifically horns in F, are the most loved and popular in America. For those who love classical music, this is the type to buy by. Because it works in the low or mid-range. If you want to play high notes, you will struggle with them.

Bb Horns


Realizing the limitations of the horns in F, the manufacturer successfully produced Bb horns – with higher pitch, smoother high notes. Bb horns are single horns played quite a lot in the UK. Because of their low timbre, they are not recommended by music teachers in America. In our opinion, the Bb horn is considered a double-edged sword. They are easier to play, more flexible in operation. But players will also have trouble playing it at low pitch.

Double Horns


Due to the limitations of single horns, in 1897, Fritz Kruspe – German horn producer came up with a combination of F and Bb. It’s called Double Horn. With a double horn, each rotor will have 2 different slide valves. Thanks to its outstanding features, the double horn has become the most popular horn in the world. It is said to have an “F” side and a “Bb” side. It’s basically a single F horn and a Bb single horn stuck together.

The double horn is an irreplaceable instrument for professional or intermediate players and above. Along with the great features it brings, the cost of owning this horn is also quite high. Therefore, young students often do not see them as an ideal choice. Again and again, in the long run, a double horn is still a quality investment.

FAQ – Double vs Single French Horn

Is There Any Price Difference?

Due to being designed with a longer tube and integrating more functions, the Double horn is considerably more expensive than the single horn. Usually, players have to spend a minimum of $500 to own a used French horn. If bought new, its price is around $2000 or more.

Is the Single French Horn Easier to Play?

Both the trumpet and the French horn are used in orchestras and bands. Compared to the trumpet, the sound of the French horn is very different, one side plays a bright timbre and the other emits a loud sound. Trumpets can be confusing for beginners due to the “c” shape of the mouth and the lack of close proximity to each other. A single French Horn is easier to resonate than a trumpet. Therefore, for beginners to play with musical instruments, they will easily play the french horn. However, this is also considered one of the most difficult brass instruments to play today.

How do you play double French horn?

How to play double vs single french horn is there any difference? Both are French horns so they have a similar playing style. The player must control the breath through the mouthpiece and, at the same time, place the fingers in the correct position to produce the desired sound. The double horn has an additional trigger, also known as the fourth rotary valve, whose main function is to switch from key F to key Bb. The sound of the French horn will be louder after pressing the trigger valve. Of course, to play the notes in Bb, you need to spend a lot of time learning new finger positions. You can ask a teacher for guidance or learn on your own on online platforms. They are free. You just need to pay attention and practice hard and you will quickly get used to this type of horn.

How much does a double French horn cost?

A double French horn typically ranges from $3,500 to $4,500. Meanwhile, professional or high-end horns typically fall around $4,500 or more.


In the same family as the trumpet, the french horn is a brass instrument. The French trumpet is considered a very difficult instrument to play. Players must control their breathing well, use their fingers in the right position. It will be a big challenge for a beginner to play the high notes because they are so close together. But, the French horn is a worthy instrument to play.

With the detailed information we give, you must have understood about French horn, the basic difference between Single French horn and Double horn. What kind of horn do you decide to buy? Share with us now!

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