I have recently acquired an Alexander 107 (used) horn.
It has a stopping valve that has two parts. I have read that removing the extension piece will put the horn in "A".
I have played a Conn 8D for many years so horn in F or B flat are what I understand. I have no idea how, or why to use an A horn.
I was in an automobile accident and haven't been able to hold a horn for over 20 years. I was able to play again three years ago. The come back is coming along nicely. The 107 is easy to hold and demands less effort than the Conn... but that A horn is a mystery.
Is there a fingering chart available for it? When/why would you want to play a horn in A? Any information about how/when to best use the A horn will be very welcome!
(Amateur hornist struggling with a come back.)
The A valve can be seriously useful on the Bb horn - the only place it's used. It puts the horn down a semitone, just the same as your second valve. You now have a lot of alternative fingerings. For example, if you need to play a bottom Bb, you can get somewhere near with all four valves depressed; better, if you know you won't need the A valve for anything else, is to pull the slide out a bit and get the bottom Bb in tune so you don't have to bend it.
Fingerings for passages involving rapid changes between C# and D midway up the treble clef can tricky; with the A valve you can finger the C# as 1 and 2 plus A valve and the D as 1 plus A valve - much easier.
You may find that the G# at the top of the clef is well in tune if played on the A valve pushed right in - if so, it will be more secure than 2 plus 3.
You need to experiment a bit for yourself.
The following user(s) said Thank You: George Lawler