Horn (Galician ox horn)  

Horn (Galician ox horn)  
Horn, Zamora. Lydia Zarceño. 'Copyleft' Luis Á. Payno y Lydia Zarceño

Horn (Galician ox horn)  

Horns are another material which has been used since antiquity to make everyday objects: glasses, cutlery, “colodras” (a sheath for keeping the whetstone moist for sharpening scythes and sickles)… and, in this case, musical instruments. The horns of both goat and cow, bull and ox, have been used to make sounds, whether for warning or for making music.

This material is highly resistant and long-lasting, and to use it, it must be dried or boiled in water to remove the cartilage and leave the inside hollow. Then, the end is cut off and a hole is made to connect with the cavity inside. This hole or mouthpiece is where the lips are placed, which vibrate to make a sound which the conic horn amplifies. This example was made from the horn of a draft bullock from Galicia. These animals were used for traction and so reached old age and grew to be very large.

In some cases, especially if they were goats’ horns, three or more side holes were made to obtain different notes. Traditionally they were used for warning, summoning or during hunting trips.

Certain religions use horns as objects of worship, like the Hebrew Shofar, which may be from a goat or some kind of antelope.

It is common to find horns which are decorated on the outside, either carved or engraved with fire, when they are placed in hot ashes to soften the outside so that it is easier to work on.

Sound of Horn: click on black triangle