Waldhorn German
Corne Parforce Italian?
Corne Sylvestre French?
Cornu Sylvestre (unknown)
Cornetto da Caccia Italian?
Cornetto di Caccia Italian
Corno di Caccia Italian
Cor[s] de Chasse French
Feldhorn German?
Hunting Horn English
Parforce Italian?
Tromba Campana Spanish
Waldhörner German

The Waldhorn (the most common of these names) is usually a reed stop of 16' or 8' pitch. According to Williams the Waldhorn was not a reed until the mid-1800's, prior to that time it was synonymous with Waldflöte. Adlung, however (1768), describes it as a reed, and says “the [instrument] Waldhorn has not come into universal use until recently, it is also not yet common in the organ.” As made by Willis, it was a chorus reed of “close” tone. Wedgwood, the only source to list all the names, provides the illustration reproduced here of a Compton Waldhorn, and writes:

The Corno di Caccia, as an organ stop, is sometimes equivalent to Clarinet. When of 2 ft. pitch the Waldhorn was identical with the Waldflöte, and usually so when of a 4 ft. pitch. In unison pitch the Waldhorn was a reed, imitative of the hunting horn. The name, Waldhorn, is also applied by Mr. John H. Compton, of Nottingham, to a stop of his invention. It is a very powerful free toned Double reed, resembling in quality the Double English Horn, though more powerful than that stop.

According to Maclean, the name Waldhorn was used by Kimball for a powerful flute stop. Skinner describes the Wald Horn simply as “a small scaled Trumpet sometimes capped”. Irwin describes its tone thus:

Without having the Tromba's brass-like timbre, this horn suggests the tone of a loud and full-timbred French Horn stop. It has no clang or blatancy, but neither is it one of the smooth, pungent Reeds of the organ.

There is an alternate meaning for Corno di Caccia.

Compare with Cornette de Caccia.


Osiris lists thirteen examples of Waldhorn at 16', four at 8', two at 4', and one at 32'. Two of these are flues (see below). No examples of Corne Parforce, Corne Sylvestre, Tromba Campana, Cor de Chasse, Feldhorn, or Parforce are known. Contributions welcome.

Waldhorn 16', Swell; Alexandra Palace, London, England; Willis 1875. This is the earliest known example of Waldhorn.

Waldhorn 32', Pedal; St. John's Episcopal Cathedral, Denver, Colorado, USA; Kilgen 1938.

Wald Horn 8', Swell, Echo; Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA; Midmer-Losh. Both of these stops are flues. In the words of the instrument's designer, Emerson Richards, they were intended “to bridge the gap between diapason and string tone”.

Wald Horn 8', 4', 2'; Kimball Hall, Chicago, Illinois, USA; Kimball 1925. The Osiris specification calls this stop “a Diapason”.

Corno di Caccia 8', Positiv; Cathedral, Passau, Germany; Steinmeyer 1924.

Hunting Horn 8', Solo; Irvine Auditorium, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Austin 1926.

Hunting Horn 8', Solo; Cadet Chapel, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York; Moller 1911.

Cornetto da Caccia 16' bassi, Organo Grosso; Chiesa di San Tommaso Apostolo, Castelfranco di Sopra, Italy; unknown 1824. A bass English Horn. This is the only known example of this name.

Sound Clips

Would you like to hear what a Waldhorn sounds like?

For as little as $10 (US), you can sponsor a page in this Encyclopedia, and help purchase more sound samples!

Our next purchase will be samples for a 3-manual 53-rank E. M. Skinner organ that includes many stops for which we currently have no sound samples, including a Waldhorn.


Adlung[1]: §131 Corne par force, Cornetto da Caccia; §210 Waldhörner. Audsley[1]: Waldhorn. Bonavia-Hunt[1]: Horn, Waldhorn. Irwin[1]: Waldhorn. Maclean[1]: Waldhorn. Skinner[1]: XII Wald Horn. Sumner[1]: Waldhorn. Wedgwood[1]: Parforce; Tromba Campana; Waldhorn. Williams[1]: Glossary: WaldHorn. Private correspondence with Stephen D. Smith.
Copyright © 2001 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
Waldhorn.html - Last updated 29 September 2007.
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