Toward a Pedagogy of Extended Techniques For Horn Derived From Vincent Persichetti’s Parable for Solo Horn, Op. 120 is a doctor of philosophy dissertation in fine arts by Carol Jean Deats written in 2001. Simply put, the dissertation was written to address a lack of information and study material for the many extended techniques for the horn found in 20th and 21st century music. Dr. Deats chose the Persichetti Parable as a foundation because it is a well-known piece which also contains a large number of extended techniques.
In the dissertation, Dr. Deats states that in her earlier studies, trial and error was typically the only method available for learning extended techniques. Since then, some research materials, such as Douglas Hill’s Extended Techniques for the Horn, have been written to fill a much needed void, but still fall short due to the fact the this book and those like it are not etude books, nor are meant to be. She then states that extended techniques do not come as naturally to hornists as more traditional techniques but that they would be if there existed approachable and practical etudes and study material which could be reviewed daily.
While the dissertation includes a list of books, solos, and other material for further research, a section about unaccompanied horn solos, definitions and explanation of extended techniques, there are 30 pages of etudes and transcriptions which cover specific techniques which will likely be the most practical and beneficial to the hornist. The etudes cover high register, low register, stopped horn, echo horn, right hand glissandi, various articulations, extended releases (breath control), multiple tonguing, flutter tonguing, trills, glissandi, and timbral contrasts.
The full text is available online and can be found here: pdf.
Vincent Persichetti’s Parables were a series of 25 compositions mostly for unaccompanied solo instruments, though a few were for multiple instruments and Parable XX was a one act opera. The Parable VIII for Solo Horn, Op. 120 has some Christian themes; the title ‘Parable’ comes from the allegorical stories taught by Jesus Christ, and part of the melody is taken from Persichetti’s own Seventh Symphony (Liturgical) based on the Nicene Creed, a Christian profession of faith. The Parable includes stopped horn, echo horn, glissandi, flutter tongue (over stopped horn), and trills as well as varied timbral styles and articulations.
The following is a performance of Vincent Persichetti’s Parable for Solo Horn, Op. 120 by horn virtuoso Eric Ruske.