Louis-François Dauprat (1781-1868), celebrated professor of horn and composer for this instrument, was born in Paris, May 24, 1781, and not in 1792, as is stated in the Universal Lexikon der Tonkunst, published by M. Schilling. Possessor of a nice voice, he was placed in Notre Dame as a choir boy and did not leave it until the church was closed during the revolutionary troubles. He was still a child when he became passionately fond of the horn and it was this instrument he chose when he entered the Conservatoire de Musique which was founded under the Title of the Institut national de musique. His professor was Kenn, one of the best Cor basses of this period. After six months of lessons, he became a member of a band which Sarrette, director of the Conservatoire provided for the camp des élèves de Mars, on la plaine de Sablons, near Paris. Later he entered the band of a camp of twenty thousand men formed in the Trou d’Enfer, near Marley. In 1799 he Joined the band of the garde des consuls, and took part in the campaign of 1800, in Italy. On his return to Paris, ho obtained his dismissal and was placed in the orchestra of the Théâtre Montansier. At the same time he returned to the Conservatoire and Catel gave him lessons to harmony; then he was admitted to the class of composition directed by Gossec and took a complete course. In 1806 an advantageous engagement in the Théâtre de Bordeaux was offered to Dauprat. He accepted it, remained in this city until 1808 and did not return to Paris until he was called by the administration of the Opera to replace Keen who had requested retirement. Some time afterwards, Frederic Duvernoy being also retired, Dauprat was appointed to succeed him as solo horn. After twenty—three years of service, he left this theatre because the new ad­ministration in 1831 made certain terms which he did not believe he should accept. Appointed in 1811 an honorary member of the Chapel of Emperor Napoleon, he succeeded Domnich in the Chapel of King Louis XVIII in 1816. In the same year he was made Professor of horn in the Paris Conservatoire. In 1833 the chapel master Paër appointed Dauprat for the part of Cor basse in the new royal band. When he took his leave from the position of professor of horn at the Conservatoire he had for his successor his student Gallay.
Dauprat defended the natural horn: ”Some have wished that by means of holes and keys the considerable series of factitious sounds on the horn might be eliminated, while at the same time and in the same way those that are totally lacking in the low register would become possible. But this method, already applied to the [keyed] trumpet, has changed the timbre of the instrument to the point of giving it a quite peculiar character, creating an instrument which is neither a trumpet nor any other known instrument. ...  The horn would probably fare likewise were it made to undergo similar alterations: it would lose its character and the true quality of its natural and factitious tones. Most of these latter have a charm that is particularly theirs, and which serve, so to speak, for shadings and nuances in contrast with the natural sounds. It must then be presumed that, far from gaining by their complete removal, the horn would lose a great deal. And what is said here about the various sounds of the complete range of the instrument must obviously extend to the different crooks.
Each of these, taken by itself, has its own color, its timbre, and its special character; but if they were all combined in a single assembly, becoming but one and the same instrument, this instrument would certainly have, if you will, the same range of low, high, and middle sounds. However, the more the new inventions produce equality among all the sounds, the more the characters, colors, and timbres of the individual crooks would be distorted and confused.”

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