Talk:Cor anglais

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I think it would be helpful to list the more common abbreviations for the instrument found in orchestral scores, for both readers and writers of scores. TheScotch 08:39, 3 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

pear shaped bell[edit]

I'm a bit dubious that the main reason for the 'nasal' sound etc is attributed to the shape of the bell. In fact if you played the instrument without the bell on it would sound remarkably similar. I think it's just a combination of harmonics/bore type/reeds, much more than the bell itself, which has surprisingly little effect. Or at least I think so. I don't want to edit as I'm not positive- can anyone verify either way?

I agree with you, most double-reeds, with the exception of perhaps the Oboe produce an almost 'nasal' sound. --Arithmia 02:29, 28 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Playing the clarinet, which also produces the same timbre regardless of whether or not the bell is on, I know that the bell can't be responsible for the sound. I heard in my atonal theory class that timbre is a result of which overtones an instrument produces, which is influenced by the shape of the bore and the placement of the tone holes.

I play this instrument and it's my impression that the bell primarily affects the timbre of the lower notes (i.e. with more keys depressed), and amplifies the sound at the same time. Also, the sound of the upper notes is not quite the same, nor is the intonation the same, with the bell off. Badagnani 19:44, 8 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

music for c/a[edit]

Hm, now I've written this, I'm not so sure those pieces by Bach and Purcell really are using the cor anglais - I think they might be the oboe d'amore (certainly Bach at least wrote a lot for the d'amore). I'll check up on it. --Camembert

Nearly a year later, and I still haven't. Sorry, I forgot. I'll do it, honest. Unless somebody else does first. --Camembert

I've taken it out - I looked around, and it seems that Purcell asked for a "tenor oboe", which would've been similar to the cor anglais, but apparently not exactly the same. I've not checked up on Bach, but I think it's a similar situation - the cor anglais stands in today, but isn't necessarily what was originally written for. I've not looked into this very closely though, so if it was right all along (or at least close enough to right to be worth putting in the article with a proviso), then it should go back in, of course. --Camembert


I have done some editing of the section on "Music for the English horn" section.

I have added a few pieces and made some clarifications on pieces which were already listed. The mention of "The Rite of Spring" contained an errant reference to an overture. There is no section of this piece labeled as such. New entries for pieces by Respighi, Ravel, John Williams, etc. have been added. Please do not remove them. EnglishHornDude (talk) 01:38, 5 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Name and French Horn[edit]

The most likely explanation for its name is that "cor anglais" is a corruption of the French term cor anglé, meaning "bent horn." This misunderstanding gave birth to another one, the naming of the French horn, which is actually of German origin. How did the first misnomer cause the second? Mark1 21:06, 18 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Kent Kennon mentions the "angled" theory in his Orchestration and dismisses it. At best this phrase "the most likely explanation" is point of view, although I'd personally be inclined to call the explanation just plain erroneous.TheScotch
According to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, the instrument was invented in Germany (possibly by J. Weigel of Breslau) after 1720; the earliest form of the instrument was curved and was thought to resemble the horns or trumpets played by angels in medieval paintings, hence it was called Der Engellische Horn, "The Angelic Horn". But in early 18th-century German, Engellische also meant "English" (Modern German: Englische), and so the term was mistranslated into French as cor anglais, into English as English Horn and into Italian as corno inglese - Eroica 09:44, 12 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Interesting, I don't know any composer of that period who called it that; I think Bach called a similar straight alto oboe in F the Taille. Badagnani 08:26, 17 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Both Grove and the OED define the instrument (the English horn, that is) as a tenor oboe, not as an alto oboe. TheScotch (talk) 07:29, 9 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]





Try a music store, or a seller specializing in oboes. Badagnani 06:14, 20 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Quit shouting, and spell right... and is this really a homework assignment? --Clorox (talk) 04:09, 21 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cor Anglais v. English Horn[edit]

An interesting thing I've noted is that in the US it's most often referred to as an English horn, yet when I was in the studio in London, it was called a cor anglais. Is this the more common name elsewhere in the world?—BassBone (my talk · my contributions) 20:59, 27 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't know, but I'm pretty sure they don't serve French toast or French fries in France.TheScotch

It's cor anglais. We've conceded colour, flavour and a whole load of other English terms to the Americans, I'm not going to concede cor anglais. Although English horn in used commonly in America, it is far too ambiguous for my liking to newcomers to classical music. Everyone has the idea of the French horn stuck in their head when you say horn that 'Horns' equates to the French horn. When they read: 'The solo of the Largo of Dvorak's 9th Symphony is played on the English horn', do you think they'll imagine an deep oboe sound or a horn sound? Please, please use cor anglais. Centy 23:48, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Since cor anglais is simply French for English horn, your argument makes no sense whatsoever. It's true that English horn is not a very descriptive name, considering that the instrument is not particularly English and is not a horn, but translating English horn into French can only make matters worse. TheScotch (talk) 06:41, 9 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Let's return to BassBone's question. According to Grove, in France the instrument is called the cor anglais. In Germany the instrument is called the englisches Horn, Englisch-Horn, or Englischhorn. In Italy it's called the corno inglese. So no, cor anglais is probably not more common (especially considering that the Americans greatly outnumber the English and are more influential), and in all these places we simply have translations of English horn into the respective languages.

Back to Centy: Note that both Grove and the Encyclopedia Britannica favor the term English horn for English usage. Note that the earliest instance the OED found for cor anglais is from 1870, whereas it gives an example of English horn from 1838. TheScotch (talk) 07:22, 9 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In light of the above, I move that the name of this article be changed to "English horn", to which "cors anglais" can redirect (and of course it will give cors anglais as an alternate name for the instrument). TheScotch (talk) 08:59, 9 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Cor, not cors. And I'm of two minds about your proposal. My first instinct is to support it because English horn is what I've generally known it to be called, but if it's more commonly called a cor anglais in certain English-speaking places (e.g., England!), then it seems perfectly valid, if not preferable, to keep that as the title of the article. I definitely suggest we not be hasty. (The redirect works well enough, after all.) Rivertorch (talk) 07:36, 10 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I had never heard of an "English Horn" until I played in the US. I instinctively prefer cor anglais because it is what I am used to, and because phrases such as "an English horn player" are ambiguous (could be a person from England who plays the French horn or indeed any of a number of other species of horn). But I am prepared to concede if we can find references to its widespread use. I note that Merriam Webster does not list "cor anglais", and OED only lists "English horn" as a translation of cor anglais. (Cors anglais is of course the plural.) So there is almost no overlap of usage. While US may outnumber British speakers, these are not the only two anglophone countries in the world. What do Canadians, Australians, Indians and other speakers of English use? In any case I would like to insist that usage be consistent throughout the article. At the moment it switches confusingly. Rachel Pearce (talk) 10:19, 10 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: "and because phrases such as "an English horn player" are ambiguous":

It's rather frustrating to have pointed out repeatedly that cor anglais is simply (and very obviously) French for English horn and therefore couldn't possibly be less "ambiguous" than English horn and not have this point at least acknowledged.

Re: "(Cors anglais is of course the plural.)":

And my use of it above was of course a typo--a circumstance that should have been obvious considering the many times I wrote cor anglais.

Re: "I note that Merriam Webster does not list "cor anglais", and OED only lists "English horn" as a translation of cor anglais....So there is almost no overlap of usage.":

You don't seem to be paying attention at all here: Grove and Encyclopedia Britannica, both of which, as I pointed out, clearly prefer English horn are British, and this is telling.

You're also misreading the OED. It does indeed list English horn (not merely as a translation of cor anglais) under the very lengthy entry horn, and as I also already pointed out it strongly suggests that the term English horn preceded cor anglais in English by several decades at least. TheScotch (talk) 10:45, 10 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

OK Firstly, please don't shout. Secondly, I don't think the phrase "a cor anglais player", in a passage otherwise written in English, would ever be construed as "an English player of the French horn", so I do feel that cor anglais is less

ambiguous. Thirdly, you made the same typo twice so I just wanted to clarify (I didn't notice that all those previous comments were from the same person). Fourthly, I was not "not paying attention at all" regarding the dictionaries. I was relying on the online versions (can't afford the real OED) so so yes, apparently I made an error here. Fifthly, I don't have access to either Grove or Encyclopaedia Britannica, but I did not, in fact, argue with your points about them. However I can tell you that use of the term "English horn" has completely died out in the UK. And finally, I am prepared to concede (which doubtless we will have to anyway in the US-dominated institution that is Wikipedia) but argue strongly for consistent use throughout the article. Rachel Pearce (talk) 16:22, 10 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: "I don't think the phrase "a cor anglais player", in a passage otherwise written in English, would ever be construed as "an English player of the French horn", so I do feel that cor anglais is less ambiguous.":
I am obviously not maintaining it would be construed as such. I am obviously, rather, maintaining it would be construed by anyone with the slightest brain particle in his cranium as French for English horn and thus no less ambiguous than English horn. How many times do I need to say this? TheScotch (talk)
I will ignore the abuse. The point is that in the phrase "a cor anglais player" it is clear that it is the instrument to which the adjective applies, not the player. If you say "an English horn player" then many (most people) might picture someone with bad teeth and a French horn. Rachel Pearce (talk) 13:50, 12 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Re: "However I can tell you that use of the term "English horn" has completely died out in the UK.":
You can say that, but I don't see how you can know unless you are intimately acquainted with every single speaker and writer in the United Kingdom, and Grove and Britannica (I checked up-to-date editions) would seem to be evidence to the contrary. Cecil Forsyth's Orchestration (Forsyth was very British) also uses the term English horn in contradistinction to cor anglais--although his book is from the earlier part of the twentieth-century (I don't know at what point you are maintaining English horn "died out in the UK").
I am not of course intimately acquiainted with every single speaker and writer in the UK. But I do know that every single British concert programme, CD case, music score etc. that I have seen has used the words "cor anglais" rather than "English horn". I had never seen or heard anyone describe themselves (or anyone else) as an English horn player (other than, say, Dennis Brain) until I moved to the US. I am 45 years old. Rachel Pearce (talk) 13:50, 12 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have to think also that it's fairly silly (if not actually affected) to use a French term in English when there is a precisely equivalent English term available. I'm inclined to suppose the very British Henry Fowler (who devotes an entire section of his The King's English to this sort of thing) would not approve. For the record, even though I'm American, I'm not generally prejudiced in favor of American usage. I'm happy to adopt British terms when I consider them useful. I'm an enthusiastic supporter of the expression Wednesday week, for example. The American next Wednesday doesn't really suffice; no one is ever sure which Wednesday one means. TheScotch (talk) 23:10, 10 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am not being anti-US usage either, but it is not affected to use a French term in British English. There are many. But in this case it is more than that, it is _the_ words for the instrument used in the UK. I believe that many French phrases were expunged from English in the US, on your argument that they are silly and affected. But they persist in British usage. Wikipedia documents English usage, whether it is silly and affected or not, not as you or I might like it to be. Anyway, as I say, please let us at least have consistent usage throughout the article.Rachel Pearce (talk) 13:50, 12 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whew, this seems like much ado about very little. Three things worth noting, if I may, and then a proposal. First, the reason cor anglais is less ambiguous than English horn was illustrated by Rachel Pearce earlier in this section: in certain sentences, the meaning of the latter may indeed be subject to misunderstanding, while the meaning of the former is always unmistakable. Second, despite its name and its origins, the Encyclopædia Britannica has long been published in the United States and sold primarily to a North American market, so it's not surprising that it prefers the American form. Third, for what it's worth, the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music, published in the UK but sold widely in the U.S. and many other countries, has cor anglais as its main entry, with a redirect at English horn. I propose that we give this some more time, and let more editors weigh in, before seriously considering a change. (If I were feeling a bit more puckish, I might suggest rolling the whole article into an Alto oboe section in Oboe, which is the way the Harvard Dictionary of Music handles it!) Rivertorch (talk) 07:49, 11 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: "First, the reason cor anglais is less ambiguous than English horn was illustrated by Rachel Pearce earlier in this section: in certain sentences, the meaning of the latter may indeed be subject to misunderstanding, while the meaning of the former is always unmistakable.":

This is complete and utter nonsense. If you know what an English horn is, the name will not confuse you. If you don't know what an English horn is, it likely will confuse you because you may assume that it's some kind of brass instrument and that the English part is somehow suggestive. Similarly, if you know what a cor anglais is, the name will not confuse you. If you don't know what a cor anglais is, it will likely confuse you because you may assume it's some kind of brass instrument (cor) and that the anglais part is somehow suggestive. The chief advantage to English horn, however, is that it's English, whereas cor anglais is bleedingly obviously French. It would be very different if the British name were tenor oboe--or even ténor hautbois.

Re: "I propose that we give this some more time, and let more editors weigh in, before seriously considering a change.":

If we weren't "seriously considering a change" right now, there would be no point to this discussion whatsoever, and naturally I brought this up to encourage "more editors [to] weigh in", which ought to have gone without saying. I have to say I'm extremely disappointed with the responses so far. TheScotch (talk) 10:32, 11 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello all -

The preceeding arguments for and against 'cor anglais/English horn' are all rather amusing, but ultimately wrong-headed. Consider the following -

1. 'English horn' is the common phrase in North America (not just the U.S.) and most of Central and South America.

2. Most North American players of the instrument have no problem whatsoever with the phraseology cor anglais, because--SURPRISE--it's commonplace in so many scores--Stravinsky, Ravel, Tchaikovsky, etc. If a working musician were to make an issue of this, he'd be out of a job quicker than you can "Bob's your uncle".

3. The IDRS (International Double Reed Society) uses both terms interchageably.

4. Even the British (contrary to what Rachel Pearce says) are conversant with 'English horn'. Witness Howarth's in London, who use the term alongside cor anglais (no doubt to please the Americans and Canadians, who are becoming their biggest customers).

5. It doesn't matter who you talk to--players of the instrument know and use both terms interchangeably, and are not exclusionary or indignant in any way if somebody uses the 'other term'.

6. Bottom line--change the title to 'Cor anglais (English horn)' and everybody should be happy.

Now, the next issue to address is whether the cor anglais/EH is an 'alto' or a 'tenor' instrument. The Wiki article on the oboe says its a tenor, this article says it's an alto. Cbrodersen (talk) 12:45, 21 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The English horn could be used as an alto or tenor instrument. Concerning the title, cor anglais could not possibly conjure up in the minds of non-musicians a deep oboe sound. Besides, cor anglais is French for "English horn" and the title should belong to the French Wikipedia. I understand the possible confusion, so I agree with Cbrodersen. I'll move it. --number googol (edits) 04:48, 25 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've come across this debate belatedly. I'll just mention that, in Australia, like the UK, the instrument is virtually always known as the "cor anglais". I've been involved in music in various capacities for nigh on 50 years here, and I can't remember the last time I heard a local reference to the "English horn". That said, I acknowledge that in the USA and some other places, they do prefer "English horn". So we need to have both names, and I agree with the current article title.

But the argument that we should use the English translation because this is English Wikipedia is not the correct approach. If "English horn" is used - and it is - then it's mentioned purely because it's used, NOT just because it happens to be the literal translation of "cor anglais". We don't translate "écossaise" or "schottische" into "Scottish", or "allemande" into "German", or "piccolo" into "little", or "zuppa inglese" into "English soup", or .... - just because this is English Wikipedia. -- JackofOz (talk) 21:42, 16 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A Left Fielder (at the risk of courting the wrath of the orthodoxy): Cor Anglais- usually described as having a "pastoral" sound. cor - latin, heart. Has anyone considered that, lost in the mists of time, it may have derived from "heart of England"? Purely academic as the terms are used as is - North American= English horn, European= cor Anglais, however, Italian "corno Inglesi" (CI) used on orchestral scores.DSJ48 (talk) 23:37, 6 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I have removed the brief sentence on the pricing of a new cor anglais. This is not suitable for an Encyclopaedic entry, unless there is something notable about this. For instance, the excellent article on Timpani makes no mention of cost. Additionally, it is most likely that prices vary greatly around the world, and this would be difficult to reflect with any reasonable accuracy. Dancarney 13:31, 10 October 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]


Italics are to be used for foreign words, as well as titles, but not for English-language terms. Please remove the italics on the term "English horn," "bent horn," and "angelic horn," and replace with quotation marks. Badagnani (talk) 08:48, 31 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cor anglais reeds[edit]

The paragraph on reeds is in need of major editing -

"Reeds used to play the cor anglais are similar to those used for an oboe, consisting of a piece of cane folded in two. Although the instrument itself is longer, a cor anglais reed is shorter than that of an oboe, and also slightly wider. Where the cane on an oboe reed is connected to a small metal tube (the staple) partially covered in cork, there is no such cork on a cor anglais reed, which fits metal against metal onto the bocal, in a manner not dissimilar to the bassoon."

The cane portion of the cor anglais (English horn) reed is actually longer than that of an oboe, the difference being that the oboe reed is tied on (the phrase most used by oboists) to a longer metal staple (with cork), whereas the EH reed is tied on to a short metal tube that fit directly to the bocal. In the oboe, the length and conicity of the staple (among other things) are important factors in how the instrument plays; in the EH, the bocal's length and conicity are predominant, because the short metal tube on to which the reed is tied has almost no influence.

I feel the comparison with the bassoon is invalid, because the construction of the bassoon reed is entirely different. In this article, it would be important to stress the similarities between oboe and EH reeds, since the cane portion of both is made (scraped) in almost exactly the same way.

The major difference NOT mentioned here is that EH reeds are usually fitted with a wire. This is done to help the response in the upper register, and to some extent to control the reed opening.

If no one has any objections, I will re-write this paragraph in a few days.Cbrodersen (talk) 12:22, 21 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

While the overall length of the English horn reed may be shorter than those for the oboe, it is misleading to say this. The cane portion is actually longer, bigger. The staple for English horn reeds isn't as long due to the bocal. EnglishHornDude (talk) 01:30, 5 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


How do you pronounce it? Would be nice to have that at the top of the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:29, 6 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

English Horn[edit]

Not to be naive to the reasons stated above for why this article is called "Cor anglais" but WHY? This is the English Wikipedia. Why use the French Name if the primary English term is "English Horn"? That just seems convoluted to me. When it says "other names", why not include the German, Itallian, and French names? Please advise or else I'm going to move the article to "English Horn". Justin Tokke (talk) 18:59, 1 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If you see earlier discussion (Talk:Cor anglais#Cor Anglais v. English Horn), you'll see that "cor anglais" really is the name used in England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, etc. Badagnani (talk) 19:22, 1 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Right. We've definitely been down that road before. Rivertorch (talk) 04:47, 2 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, but why is the title phrased like a disambiguation? There is nothing to disambiguate, so shouldn't the title just be "Cor anglais" without the paranthetical? --Jayron32 18:51, 28 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It was, then someone changed it. It occurred to me that maybe there'd be less controversy with the parenthetical. Rivertorch (talk) 19:14, 28 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Yes, I moved this over to simply Cor anglais. Yes, both are equally valid. But as this is a title of an article, one has to be chosen over the other, and as there's no real 'neutral' choice (like Fixed-wing aircraft or Association football), I picked the one that seems to be 'first' and seems to be in slightly greater use (personally I use English Horn myself...maybe the American in me). Unless someone can cite a guideline that says aritcles can be named the old way (which implies disambiguation with more than one type of Cor anglais, obviously not the case), then this title should stay, or it should move to English Horn. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 05:53, 9 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I, for one, agree with you. It is stupid to have alternative names embedded in the title of an article. This one began life as "Cor anglais", and it is usual on Wikipedia is to retain whichever standard was originally in place, unless a very strong argument can be made for changing it. Bravo, well done.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 05:59, 9 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not moved. Since the current title is apparently commonly used in certain English speaking countries as the name of the instrument, the language of origin of the words is irrelevant (WP:ENGLISH is inapplicable) and so it should not be changed simply because a different variety of English uses another term (WP:ENGVAR applies).--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 14:27, 13 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cor anglaisEnglish horn

  • Correct title per WP:ENGLISH, cannot be moved manually as there is already a page history at english horn Nat682 (talk) 00:23, 4 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • If you read the associated talk page, this is not uncontroversial. Will need a full discussion. Vegaswikian (talk) 08:17, 4 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • sigh. This is one of those cases that may be intractable. Both terms are in use in English-speaking countries. cor anglais was first, so per WP:ENGVAR we should leave it at that title. But "English horn" is both the literal and colloquial translation of the French term, so WP:USEENGLISH indicates we should use "English horn". I don't see any objective way of resolving this dichotomy. Powers T 13:22, 4 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. I have never seen the term "English horn" used in the UK. It's always "cor anglais". WP:ENGLISH does not require slavish translation of absolutely everything into English if that is not the common name in English-speaking countries. -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:46, 4 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    That's not a very good reason not to move it, though. People don't use 'color' in the UK either, do they? Keeping it at Cor anglais is right per ENGVAR, however. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:45, 4 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Since it's already at cor anglais and cor anglais is the common name in the UK then yes, it's a very good reason not to move it. I don't see your point, since you've acknowledged that ENGVAR may apply (if, indeed, the common American name is English horn, which I'm not convinced about). -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:52, 4 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My point, Necrothesp, is that just because people in the UK don't use "English Horn" (though the above discussion disagrees) is not a good reason, because by the same token people in the US don't use "Cor anglais". Thus we have a perfect example of ENGVAR, which I why it's at the title it's at. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 21:00, 4 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just to zero in a bit on the ENGVAR guideline mentioned by Melodia Chaconne, it is the section titled "Retaining the existing variety" that particularly applies here. There is absolutely no justification for changing this from the established English usage for this article to another one.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 17:06, 4 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your certitude to the contrary, there is indeed a justification, and that's WP:USEENGLISH. It seems odd to use a French term when the English translation is just as widely used. Powers T 19:48, 4 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, yes, I forgot to mention that whoever placed this request should have first read the discussion further up this page. It might have save a lot of bother.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 17:12, 4 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Further to LtPowers: "cor anglais" is an English term, even if it came into the language from French. The same is true for "oboe", "trombone", "viola", "cello", and "piano", which were and remain Italian words but, like such French words as "clef", "saxophone", and "cor anglais", have become naturalised in English. Do please read the much earlier discussion referred to above, which will answer this and a great many more questions about this particular subject.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 20:00, 4 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Following LtPowers' logic, I propose we move Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Red Stick, Louisiana immediately. WP:USEENGLISH clearly applies! Can't have these nasty foreign words creeping into English Wikipedia can we! Seriously, please understand that the naming of this article does not in any way contradict the guidelines. To the British people here it merely sounds like an excuse to move the article title to an American English term. The term "English horn" is rarely if ever used in the UK. The term used is "cor anglais". This is not a case in which USEENGLISH applies, since the guideline states that the term used should be the "most common in the English language". As Jerome Kohl says, "cor anglais" has entered the English language (or at least the British English language), just as many other foreign words and phrases have done. You would presumably not translate coup d'état, for instance? A pure French phrase, but one which is so commonly used in English as to have entered the language. This is an identical case. If the article was originally created under the title "English horn" then that would probably be a valid place to leave it, but it wasn't. It was created under the British English title "cor anglais", and under WP:ENGVAR that is where we should leave it. -- Necrothesp (talk) 22:03, 4 February 2011 (UTC)-- Necrothesp (talk) 22:03, 4 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd appreciate a little credit, please. I have read the earlier discussions but I don't see any clear evidence one way or another whether the term is considered "part of English" now or if it's still a French term used in some English-speaking areas. Powers T 01:40, 5 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Apologies are in order, then. I did not see evidence of this. Nevertheless, I find it amusing that you wonder whether an English term might be used only in "some English-speaking areas", when the areas in question include England! A correction, however: it is not just a French term, but an English one, not merely used, but in fact the standard term in several "English-speaking areas", including England, Scotland, Wales, the Republic of Ireland, and Australia. Probably also South Africa, but I don't have the evidence in hand. Still, we are not running a popularity contest here. The issue is simply one of whether the established style is a legitimate English practice, or not. If the OED and New Grove can be trusted, it is, though in both cases there is some evidence to indicate they think correct term really should be "tenor oboe" (even if it is not found often in practice). (Hands up, everybody who thinks this article should be renamed "Tenor oboe"!) Consulting the venerable Musical Instruments: A Comprehensive Dictionary by Sibyl Marcuse (an American, as it happens, or at least the former curator of the Yale University Collection of Musical Instruments), the term "English horn" is defined as "see: cor anglais". QED.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 04:00, 5 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I realize that it's in wide use. Have you noticed that I haven't even taken a position on what the article's title should be? The only thing I've been arguing is that this is a very difficult decision because both sides have equally strong arguments. I fully recognize ENGVAR; It just seems odd to me to use a term of French derivation when the literal English translation is available and in equally wide use. Powers T 13:31, 5 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
English is full of similar examples, however, as has already been pointed out. In music, we say "piccolo" instead of "little", "trombone" instead of "big trumpet", "clef" instead of "key". Our language is simply chock-full of loan words for which there are perfectly serviceable native or at least longer-established English equivalents. Ironically for the present discussion, we tend to be much less fussy in such matters than the Académie française is with respect to French terminology.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 21:57, 5 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But no one calls the piccolo a "little". If "English horn" wasn't in actual use, of course I wouldn't suggest translating "cor anglais". Powers T 03:43, 6 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You want language usage to be logical? Ho-ho-ho! That's a good one! Perhaps I could enlist your aid in my campaign to reject the creeping use in English of "cilantro" for "coriander", and "tsunami" for "tidal wave"?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 03:59, 6 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When did I say I wanted language usage to be logical? I'm saying your examples are not germane because they don't involve English translations that are in equally wide use as the words of foreign origin. Powers T 16:19, 6 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This now sounds like an appeal not only to logic but to statistics. Language just doesn't work like that, and in the present case we are squarely in the middle of a usage conflict: in the UK and other countries, "English horn" is recognised only as a foreign (American) term, whereas in North America "cor anglais" is regarded as a foreign (French) term for what Americans call "English horn". Both terms are presented and explained in this article, which as it happens follows British rather than American practice. If statistical distribution were relevant, it wouldn't take long to settle the differences between "theater" and "theatre", "boot" and "trunk", "analyse" and "analyze", "chemist's" and "drugstore", "freeway" and "expressway", either. And, yes, I am aware that the last pair do not constitute a US/UK dichotomy.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 20:29, 6 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It sounds like you're opposed to WP:COMMONNAME. It has widespread acceptance here on Wikipedia, though, so you won't have much luck getting it changed. It's only in cases where no single common name can be determined -- which is the case here and with all of the examples you mentioned -- that we have to resort to other guidelines like ENGVAR. Powers T 12:42, 7 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can't make out which side of the debate the above point supports.
Did you read National varieties of English on that same page? -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 13:37, 7 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, of course, though it addresses mainly spelling, so while I understand the basic point, I think this situation is a bit deeper and calls for a more careful application of the guidelines. Powers T 12:42, 8 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No single common name can be determined, since the common name appears to be "cor anglais" in some English-speaking countries and "English horn" in others. As such, Wikipedia guidelines dictate that we leave the article at the title under which it was created. -- Necrothesp (talk) 14:17, 7 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose There is no compelling reason to move. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 13:37, 5 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose Thank you, Michael, for reminding me that I have not yet formally taken a position in this matter.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 21:57, 5 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. Interesting case. References are all over the map. I'm convinced, first off, that this is not a WP:UE issue. "Cor anglais", though it comes from French, is as English as "English horn" - sources don't italicize "cor anglais" the way one would expect with a true foreign term appearing in an English-language source. I also agree that "English horn" would be a perfectly acceptable title, given its wide usage. Since it's been at "Cor anglais", though, I don't see the evidence to overcome either WP:ENGVAR or WP:COMMONNAME. Dohn joe (talk) 23:44, 5 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Michael Bednarek: Please read the reason I gave to move it. Dohn Joe: Uh, Cor anglais is not English any more than English horn is French. Cor anglais is French, and English horn is English. They are both common, but English horn is English, and Cor anglais is not. Therefore, per applicable WP policy, the article belongs at English horn. --Nat682 (talk) 03:26, 6 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Mm. Could you explain why you think "cor anglais" is not an English word?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 03:35, 6 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think it's an American English/British English thing. In the U.S., it would generally be considered to be 'the French term for the English horn' rather than 'an alternate English term for the English horn'. Apparently that's not the case elsewhere in the English-speaking world, but it seems like some of the editors who live in such areas don't quite realize how foreign the 'cor anglais' term seems to Americans. Powers T 16:19, 6 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Quite so. And, conversely, some of the editors who live in the US don't realise how foreign 'English horn' sounds to the rest of the English-speaking world. Americans generally do not realise that they akk speak with a strong foreign accent, either ;-)—Jerome Kohl (talk) 20:29, 6 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"English horn" may be non-standard in those parts of the world, but I can't see how it sounds "foreign" -- at least not in the same sense I used it. Powers T 21:33, 6 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I really don't have time to deal with stupid people who don't know the difference between English and French. This discussion can rot in a sack for all I care. --Nat682 (talk) 22:40, 6 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No need to attack other editors over an English-variant debate... ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 02:32, 9 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose simple case of ENGVAR. Johnbod (talk) 16:04, 9 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose, always known it as "cor anglais" in British English at least. --Kotniski (talk) 13:18, 12 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Out of curiosity, how do you Brits pluralize cor anglais? According to English or French grammar? Powers T 14:36, 14 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's the same: "two cor anglais". Johnbod (talk) 14:42, 14 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Really? That follows neither French nor English practice. How is the plural pronounced -- identical w/ the singular or with a /z/ and the end of "anglais"? --Atemperman (talk) 19:27, 22 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, really! It is pronounced as the singular, though I'm not sure that a slight z sound could be called incorrect. Johnbod (talk) 22:59, 22 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Much of this talk page seems to be devoted to matters of language. As a baritone player who plays a euphonium (yes, they are actually different instruments, or at least were before 20th century american manufacturers started building conical bore baritones), this seems so trivial. My mother plays and taught English Horn for over half a century and I have never encountered any student/professional/etc. who had any trouble using the name Cor Anglais interchangably. To a musician, poly-linguism should be nothing new. After all, dynamic and tempo variation is usually noted in Italian. Most of us have to read multiple clefs and or transpose on our instruments.

I guess my point is, that if the instrument is the instrument, cannot wikipedia find a way to provide a single comprehensive content for that instrument without offending someone through word choice ? Let us not forget that English came about in Briton as a backlash against the french of the Norman nobility after the conquest, so calling Cor Anglais "British", might offend a thousand year old Briton . . . Hopefully you see my point: The language of the name should not be taking precendence over conveying information to those who seek it. To focus so much controversy on which term is a redirect and which is the article that a redundancey must exist to preserve the peace seems a tragic mis-investment of editorial time and resources that could go into improving the vast array of needy musical instrument articles on wikipedia.--Rwberndt (talk) 14:57, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not a horn?[edit]

Earlier today it suddenly appeared to me that the sentence "the instrument is neither from England nor a horn" was odd, as the cor anglais, with a conical bore and a flared end, seems to fit the definition of an acoustic horn. And people in the 18th century thought it looked like an (angelic) horn. Even if not conical, somewhat curved wind instruments reminded people of animal horns, which is good enough. So, I replaced "nor a horn" with "nor France" but Michael reversed this, referring to the definition at Horn (instrument). Lots of instruments are called horns, only some of which are like the coiled hunting horn and its derivatives that currently occupy the wikipedia page "Horn (instrument)". If in 1971 the society of French horn players decided to officially ban the adjective "French", this did not make all the other instruments suddenly "not a horn". It would be silly to include in the alphorn, flugel horn, crumhorn, Surma-horn, soccer horn, etc. pages that the instruments have a confusing name since they don't fit the description of Horn (instrument). I agree that we could say that it is not related to the instrument formerly known as French horn, as I suppose the English horn/French horn name resemblance will lead the novice to think they are related. As an aside, I probably should suggest to move the too broadly named "horn (instrument)" page to "horn (orchestral brass instrument)", or something shorter, but the talk page there looks as if such suggestion will meet resistance. Afasmit (talk) 09:53, 6 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The reference to "horn" that you removed from the article was linked to Horn (instrument) which defines brass horns. When considering orchestral instruments, most people would first make that association, thus the phrase was in my opinion quite poignant (and the French Wikipedia makes the same point). I agree that the wider definition of "horn" ("a wind instrument consisting of a tube that is wide at the end" as you put it) does indeed include the cor anglais. I also agree with your suggestion to limit the phrase to a comparison with the brass family of horns, but spelling it out like that makes it so bland that it might as well be omitted – which leaves the part "… is not from England." That seems redundant with what follows in the article. Your replacement "… neither from England nor France" seems a non sequitur to me as no French origin is previously indicated. The only solution seems to drop the complete sentence – which in my opinion would rob the articles of a nice catchy phrase which has quite some currency elsewhere (see here, here, [(blacklisted by Wikipedia) here], and in Orchestration by Cecil Forsyth (1982), p. 220. Maybe we could follow Forsyth and write "… neither 'English' nor a 'horn'" using quotation marks around the words. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 12:56, 6 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I assume the issue of not being French is because of the name. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 13:45, 6 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That, I think, is a different issue (the "French horn" is not French), yes? None of the component words in either form of the instrument discussed in this article ("anglais", "cor", "English", and "horn") can possibly be construed to mean "French" (or "Italian" or "Bulgarian", "Chinese", "Latvian", etc.) Or am I missing something here?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 15:47, 6 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Cor anglais" is in French, not that it means 'French'. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 15:54, 6 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Exactly so, except for the fact that "cor anglais" is also naturalized as an English term, hence the title of this article.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 17:03, 6 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How about "The term cor anglais is French for English horn, but the instrument is neither English nor related to the (French) horn.", or simply "... nor related to the French horn"? Still catchy (I like the recurrence of English and French), and it has the benefit of being true. Afasmit (talk) 21:42, 6 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The main thing here is that the term "cor anglais" is not only French, but English (just as are the words "chef", "cuisine", and "aubergine"). It is a term naturalized from French, it is true, just as the name "trombone" is naturalized from the Italian name of an instrument invented probably in Germany, and "flugelhorn" is from the German name of an instrument developed probably in Belgium. The word "anglais", of course, means "English" in French, which is why the point is being made that the instrument is not English in origin, nor is it a horn. Nothing more needs saying, and would only serve to confuse the reader if it were said.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 22:01, 6 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Jerome, you've missed the point of the discussion, which is about "nor is it a horn". Afasmit (talk) 05:07, 7 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So then, why are you suggesting the word "French" would be a useful clarifying word?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 16:16, 7 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That used to be the official and still is the common way to distinguish the orchestral, coiled horn from other horns. Afasmit (talk) 18:00, 7 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, now. There are a number of things to say about that <stunning plot element, suddenly revealed>. (French horns)

What's that?

French horns.

No, I mean, before that...
__ Just plain Bill (talk) 22:03, 7 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Low B-flat[edit]

Hi all. I just want to point out some confusing language in the article opening:

"Because the cor anglais normally lacks the lowest B-flat of the oboe, its sounding range stretches from the E (written B natural) below middle C to the C two octaves above middle C."

For a non-oboe player such as myself I find this description unclear and complicated. For starters it is my impression that the Cor Anglais can play the same low Bb as the Oboe since it is a lower timbre instrument. I know what the sentence is trying to say which is that the Cor Anglais is not a Bb based instrument but do we really need to know that at the outset? Surely there is a better way to explain this? - Random Wiki User — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:56, 19 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think you are in fact misreading this sentence, and it could easily be improved to avoid your confusion. What this sentence is meant to say is that the cor anglais does not have the extra low B key that most oboes are provided with. This refers of course to the notated pitches, which in the case of the oboe are also the sounding pitches. Because the c.a. is a transposing instrument in F, the low B key, if present, would extend the sounding range to a low E; the lack of this key means that the lowest note is written B, sounding E.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 20:39, 19 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Range in terms of vocal nomenclature[edit]

See Talk:Oboe d'amore EddieTheOboist (talk) 14:54, 12 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]