Scored for: 8 horns (4 French horns, 4 Wagner tubas)
The French horn, or simply horn, belongs to the brass family. Its sound, however, is different from other brass instruments, mostly due to its funnel-shaped mouthpiece; from a sound perspective, some people consider the horn part of the woodwind family, and horn players usually also sit next to the woodwinds. The horn is also seen as the mediator between the strings and brass, and is thus considered essential to the orchestra. In contrast to what we might expect at first, the Wagner tuba does not belong to the tuba, but to the horn family, and its sound is described as a mixture between the French horn and tenor trombone. The Wagner tuba owes its name to Richard Wagner, who had it built expressly for the Ring of the Nibelung around 1870.