Alphorns = Massively Long Mountain Horns
High in the Alps, among mountain-dwelling Swiss and Bavarian folk, whose collective tastes in questionably fashionable shorts and skirts seem quite at odds with their cold environment, an instrument as odd as lederhosen was devised.
That instrument is the "alphorn". The alphorn is long. The alphorn is lean. The alphorn is very, very loud.
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Alphorns sound a lot like foghorns, but far more refined. Almost crystalline and tempered by whistling harmonics, an alphorn's singular hum is hard to mistake.
It's not surprising they sound this way though; they're several meters long.
These massive horns are comprised entirely of wood and can crank out notes in nearly 3 octaves when played properly.
Brahms's 'First Symphony' benefited from an inspiring alphorn melody he heard while vacationing in Switzerland.
Alphorn playing is arguably as much about location as it is sound. There's something incredibly fitting about the instrument's sound in a Swiss mountain setting, sweeping solemnly over the open Alps.
Hey, what do you know? We found a video of exactly that. Warning; it's a lot more epic than you might think.
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