Alphorn maker – Franz Schüssele

The opportunity for this portrait arose on the occasion of a performance of Frapepi at Uhuru Festival 2023. Unexpectedly, things got a bit chaotic: A storm on the Weissenstein shredded the tents of the festival visitors, and during the concert the area had to be evacuated. At least we found a reasonably quiet barn for the interview and alphorn trial. Franz Schüssele is an alphorn Jack of all trades. He began his musical career as a trombonist in classical music

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Alphorn builder – Silver & Brass

Brandi and Lindsey Jones are, to my knowledge, the only alphorn making couple in the world. They have known each other since their school days. Musically, they went the way of the trombone to the French horn as an inseparable duo. Lindsey graduated early and dedicated himself to restoring brass instruments with his Nevada-based business, Silver & Brass Musical Instruments, beginning in 2013. Brandi joined the business full time when it began generating enough sales to cover the young couple’s

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Lip training

The first months on the alphorn are for beginners mainly a struggle with the lips. After just a few minutes of playing the alphorn, the muscles go slack – then it just croaks, high notes no longer come and the lips hurt. The usual advice is “be patient, it will come in time, just don’t push it…”. That may be. But isn’t there a shortcut? What was that again about bodybuilding for the lips? If you do some research on

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Alphorn maker – Romain Boulanger

At the age of 32, Romain Boulanger is currently probably the youngest alphorn maker. I met him on the sidelines of my visit to the Federal Yodeling Festival and tried out his alphorn. Romain has played the trumpet since early childhood and is still active in a harmony. Rather by chance he discovered the alphorn seven years ago. Via Alexandre Jous he came to the Sonneurs de Savoye . Besides this large formation, Romain also blows successfully with the Trio

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The Alphorn and the Voice

The alphorn presents such a unique, timeless beauty in its natural production of the overtone series; a sound that captivates with its resonance and simplicity. However, the absence of any kind of keys or valves means that they player is entirely responsible for vividly hearing the correct pitch before playing it. Unlike a piano or a fretted guitar string, the alphorn will never inform the player what the correct pitch is. For this reason, it requires a very clear musical

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Alphorn maker – Sandro Faïta (résonance bois)

One should not be deceived by the youthful appearance: Sandro Faïta has already had a 20-year career as a professional horn player in France, Ticino and Belgium. Health problems forced him to take a longer break a good ten years ago; after that he did not want to return to the classical orchestra. Instead, he did an apprenticeship as a carpenter and got into alphorn making. He runs the company résonance bois together with his business partner, who is a

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