Richard Burdick's thoughts for his horn students


V. Rules:

Tone is the most important thing
The singing quality of the horn has been praised over the years, yes, phrasing is really important too, but with out nice, or the correct tone to express the music, no one would want to listen.

Tone is what people hear, it should be beautiful and espressive.

Steadiness is a virtue.
One of the major criteria in today’s orchestra auditions is the correct tempo and steady, this is not soft is slower that Loud! Nor is it the less air you have, the fast you go in a phrase. Set the tempo and stay with it, after you can play something steady then you can go back and add the rubati!

If it is low, play it loud
I am not saying all loud passages need to be forceful. The low register of the horn has very long waveforms, these often need to be started before the beat, so they sound on the beat. But the real rule is, base on the fact that the higher tones project well and the lower tones project slowly. Playing them louder helps make a balanced phrase. If you have something like an octave leap, often you need to bounce off the low tone going to the high, like jumping on a diving board, digging in louder to provide the energy for the leap.

Phrase to the down beats
Yes, it is the musicians job to play the meter of the piece.

Tapper down the volume at the end of phrases except at the end of a piece of music, as appropriate to the music.
This rule really doesn’t apply all the time, but I have had lots of students who have no clue about ending a phrase. Yes, there are phrases that lead on to the next, or we have parts that are just part of a phrase, but overall a gentleness at the end of phrases is important.

Slurs crescendo
This I think of as my radical rule
Slurs slow down, staccati speed up
Knowing this, then it is your choice to stay steady or not.

Play to the quality of the note and harmony
xxx -work in progress

If it is dissonant, it may not be bad

Put your fingering down while preparing to play
Always have your fingering set while preparing to play. Do not put down the correct finger during or after the breath. Set you fingering before breathing.

Fill up with air, but don’t over use your air
Use just enough air to produce the tone. If you have a tendency to use increased mouthpiece pressure to get the higher tones counteract this by letting more and faster air through. Try to keep your lips relaxed. With this technique tone quality should improve a great deal.

Music is change
 Once a musician becomes fully proficient at actualizing what is written on the page, then what happens is music. A computer can actualize written music, but there is no soul and there is a lack of interpretation. Interpretation is what happens in between the notes or to the notes.  If you are just playing the music from the written page it is not Music.  When you play the music and add or change things then it starts becoming music. The summation of this is “Change makes Music.”

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CD42 I sound My Horn

CD42 cover-88CD42
Music of
B. Heiden and Burdick


CD41 American Horn Music vol. 2

Burdick's CD41Music by:
R. Burdick
J. Graas, R. Johnson
J. Ott, A. M. Ingalis
A. D. Schmutz, T. Strong

CD40 Retrospective II
Horn Quartets No's 1 - 5

Burdick's CD40Retrospective II
Horn Quartets:
No. 1, Op. 39,
No. 2, Op. 51,
 No. 3, Op. 136,
  No. 4, Op. 149,
                       No. 5, Op. 154

CD39 Bach by Popular Demand

CD39 A sequel toCD39 cover-88
R. Burdick's
Easter Oratorio CD and his Favorites CD Bach Cantatas, 26, 84 & 99

CD38 Matthew Locke:
Broken & Flatte Consorts

CD38 Richard Burdick performs trios from the late renaissance: CD 38 Locke-Brokenall 6 Broken Consort Suites and both Flatte Consort suites - 36 track of Christmas like music.

CD37 Microtonal music of Richard Burdick

CD37 Richard Burdick's compositions:
Earth & Moon, Op. 202
Polar Flux, Op. 204 Microtonal music of Richard Burdick

A multi-track recording of Mr. Burdick:
A microtonal duet (Op. 204) & quartet (Op. 202)

64 tones per octave.

CD36 Classical Natural Horn
Music By Duvernoy & Schneider

CD36 Classical Natural Horn
Music By Duvernoy & Schneider

CD36 Natural horn Burdick Beautiful authentic practice classical era natural horn music, for horn trio and duo.

A very popular style of music in Beethoven's lifetime.

CD35 Twenty-Two Trios
for Horns

CD35 Twenty-two Trios
fCD35or Horn, Op. 156

Nothing else like it for horn ensemble! These trios are full of memorable tunes interwoven in fascinating ways, with wonderful twists and turns.

CD34 Natural Horn Music FOUND

Thanks to IMSLP a number of works have come to my attention from moderately obscure CD34composers, which I'm happy to present here performed on the Natural horn. Nineteenth Century composers Du Puy, Comte de Champigny, Alexandre Javault, Johann Peter Heuschekel. Released February 2013.

CD32 American Horn Music
American Horn Music
of the 40's & 50's


“This CD proves that what may have sounded weird sixty years ago now sounds normal and often beautiful.”

There are many lesser-known 20th century composers, who have great worth!

Let’s not forget the music of:
Wendell Otey
Alan Hovhaness
Henry Cowell
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
Gunther Schuller.