Bamboo French Horns in the Philippines
I had the great fortune of visiting the Museum of Musical Instruments in Phoenix, Arizona last month. This well-designed museum is an enormous treasure trove of instruments from around the world, tastefully displayed by country and with great recordings accessed via bluetooth headphones.
I was intrigued to discover a bamboo French horn (along with many other bamboo marching band instruments). The accompanying signage explains that the prohibitively expensive cost of instruments led the people of the Philippines to create these beautiful bamboo replicas of European instruments. Bamboo bands are featured in town fiestas and other community events, and symphonic orchestras are also a big part of the musical culture, which has strong European influences. I wish I could have tried it out-- what sort of tone could one get on a bamboo horn? Perhaps better than we imagine: Alphorns have a beautiful tone!
Horn teacher and performer