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The horn (also known as the corno and French horn) is a brass instrument made of more than 20 feet (6.1 m) of tubing wrapped into a coil with a flared bell. A musician who plays the horn is called a horn player (or less frequently, a hornist). In informal use, "horn" may also refer to nearly any wind instrument with a flared exit for the sound.
Descended from the natural horn, the instrument is often informally known as the French horn. However, this is technically incorrect since the instrument is not French in origin, but German. Therefore, the International Horn Society has recommended since 1971 that the instrument be simply called the horn. French horn is still the most commonly used name for the instrument in the United States.
Pitch is controlled through the adjustment of lip tension in the mouthpiece and the operation of valves by the left hand, which route the air into extra tubing. Most horns have lever-operated rotary valves, but some, especially older horns, use piston valves (similar to a trumpet's) and the Vienna horn uses double-piston valves, or pumpenvalves. A horn without valves is known as a natural horn, changing pitch along the natural harmonics of the instrument (similar to a bugle). Pitch may also be controlled by the position of the hand in the bell since the hand is acoustically beneficial to the horn because it shortens the diameter of the bell. The pitch of any note can easily be raised or lowered based on the hand position in the bell.