The French Horn and the conch shell. The family of brass instruments, includes the Horn, commonly called the French Horn. Originally horns actually were horns, like the shofar, an instrument made from a ram's horn. Later horns began to be made of metal.
Valves weren't a part of horns until the early part of the 19th century, at the very end of the classical music period. The modern French Horn with rotary valves is actually German. The French version had piston valves. However, like the ram's horn, these instruments originally didn't have valves at all. They were 20 foot hunting horns, coiled so that they could be more easily held and played. Because they didn't have valves, they could only play notes in one overtone series, like a bugle. The playable notes started at the second harmonic, since the tube diameter wasn't large enough to develop the first harmonic.
In order to play in different keys, horn players used crooks, which were tube extensions that could be placed between the horn and the mouthpiece. These extensions lengthened the tubing and lowered the pitch.
Some virtuoso horn players were able to play more chromatically by changing the position of their hand in the bell, which changed the effective bell diameter and the pitch.
In the same way, when someone blows into a conch shell that has a hole punched in the top, they can change the pitch by adjusting their hand position.
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