We had a very successful exhibit at the IHS Symposium in Kingsville. Many favorable comments about the Hornette. Of course all horn players are horn purists at heart, but this instrument does not attempt to replace our beloved horn, just to add a complementing instrument. To that end, the Hornette has a very pleasant sound, resembling a fat flugelhorn and a rich trombone, yet different in it’s own way. I would say more hornistic in sound, but more direct at the same time.
Here is a video from the Symposium featuring the Hornette, played by John Dickson.
Here are a few pics from the Symposium:
Made some great progress on the Hornette!
It’s pretty much done and ready for play testing. I’ll have it at the IHS Symposium (Aug 1-6) and I also want to announce that we will be hosting a Product Spotlight on the Hornette at the Symposium on Wednesday, August 3rd at 5:00. Joining us will be John Dickson who will talk about how this new instrument can be used and how important it is to have this special, new horn!
Well, it’s been a long time since I updated this page, and I have a lot of progress to report:
The Mellophone project is complete. Did I tell you that I designed a new “horn based” marching mellophone for Conn-Selmer? Well, I did. I designed a new horn for them from the ground up. I also built 6 prototypes so if you have been to any shows this year and played a mellophone that used a french horn mouthpiece, you have played one of them. This instrument is great on the field but the Hornette is different in that it is voiced for concert use. Perfect for Jazz, but should also be great for use in a brass quintet, or as a solo instrument (think Hindemith Alto Horn Sonata).
Now, on to finishing the Hornette. Our first chance to reveal this new instrument will be at the IHS Symposium. We will be giving a product showcase at the Symposium on August 3rd at 5:00 PM. I’ll be talking about the development of this horn and will have a prototype with me. John Dickson will also take part and give his response to the horn, and has promised to bring some demo recordings. If you are attending the Symposium, please come and see our showcase.
I have bent a bell which sounds like not such a big deal, but there are many considerations. This first bell was bend a little “short” as an experiment. I like the look, hope all the details work out and it also plays well.
I have secured a piston supplier. Got lucky here. The pistons are 2 piece (top/bottom) and the upper part is in nickel silver which is a good look.
What do you think?
I’ll have few more audio files in a couple of weeks.
Here is a demonstration of the updated sound of our mellophone/Hornette.
This is a work in progress. Updates will be added as progress is made.
(9/7/21) Bells from Germany arrive today
9/1/21 Assembly fixture built for Mellophone
9/1/2020-9/1/2021 Various leadpipes, first branches, valve sets, bells were been tested and developed. Various bracing patterns were tested as well.
Mellophone Project History:
A while back we came up with a modification to the standard marching mellophone which completely revolutionized the instrument. A french horn type leadpipe was added to the existing mellophone so the player could use his standard french horn mouthpiece. The end of the LP was angled to approximate the angle of a french horn leadpipe. Horn players are very comfortable with this set up since it feels more like their french horns. This ended up being a very popular modification and we have added this upgrade to hundreds of mellophones.
An unexpected but huge improvement was with the sound and how this new sound incorporates into the marching band. The mellophone section gains more presence and therefore is able to broaden the overall sound of the band in a very good way. The leadpipe addition creates a more horn like sound with a unique timbre. Since there are no other instruments of the same timbre, you actually get more presence and sound from the mellophone section. You just hear them better. This was mind blowing! Plus everything about the mellophone relates to a horn player in a more natural way.
This modification was so successful I knew we were onto something big, but I also knew there were more improvements that could be done. I can’t say much at this time, but Patterson Hornworks is now designing a new mellophone from the ground up. I’ll let you know more details as soon as I can.
In the meantime, several prototypes have been built and they are literally stunning!
Development of the Hornette
At the request of John Clark, we are jointly building a bell front horn for use in jazz and popular music.
There is great potential in this new instrument, and in my opinion, horn players need this instrument!!
It can be much like the Flugelhorn is to trumpet players. It can give us a “double” to use in horns ensembles which will extend the timbre, and style possibilities. Currently there is no such instrument and this new horn is a total joy to play. Finally there will be a horn suitable to play jazz on!
Of course the instrument must play well. I think we’ve got that covered. Every player must simply try this horn.
Here’s the prototype in mellophone form for now. Looks unassuming but in the coming weeks something special will emerge. Stay tuned for more details.