I guess traditionally, folks figured it would be a good way to gain accuracy and range. I don’t really subscribe to that, and I don’t think anyone does nowadays. If you can’t hit a certain note accurately on your double Horn, you probably can’t on your F alto Horn.
So then, why play this instrument? In a word: CLARITY.
It seems to me there are many ways of explaining this. An example is perhaps best: Play a bebop tune as fast as you can, on the double horn. Then play the exact same thing on the F alto horn (descant or triple). Which do you think sounds clearer / more intelligible / listenable?
For those Horn players who played trumpet before they played horn: It feels familiar. You relate to the instrument in a similar way: range / register / fingerings; although it is in a different key.
If you never played trumpet before you played Horn, you have a bit of a learning curve here, but it’s not that awful. The patterns are the same, just moved a bit!
There is some great information from John Ericson here: http://hornmatters.com/2012/10/playing-descant-and-triple-horns-a-new-e-book/
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please add them in the “Comments” section below? Scroll down to where it says “Leave a Reply”, then type in the “Comments” area. Thanks!