tenet (ten' it), noun: a principle, doctrine, or belief held as truth

Welcome to my blog! Here I will share some of my thoughts on horn playing and teaching, which I think about a lot, and maybe some other things, too. Since my job (which thankfully, allows me to do a lot of playing and teaching) keeps me very busy, as does my wonderful family, I may not write frequently. My goal will be quality, not quantity!

Please share your comments.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Horn in 'Pop' Music

        Below is a list of 'pop' songs that have prominent horn parts.  Along with each artist and title, I've included a link to YouTube where you can hear the song.  The times in parentheses indicate where the prominent horn part begins.  If there’s no time indicated, the horn plays at the very beginning and/or throughout the recording.

        I compiled this list from suggestions by many Facebook friends.  I'm sure there are others, and I will be glad to update the list, so if you know of any not included here, please leave a comment!  I've included a few names of who the horn players are when I could.  Also let me know if you know who's playing.
        The variety of artists is really neat.  Just about every genre is represented - it's certainly not limited to pop music.  Many of these songs were totally new to me.  Enjoy!

(last updated 11/27/12)

Arcade Fire - “In the Backseat”

Badly Drawn Boy - “The Shining”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4o5tGajfYE (extended duet w/cello in intro)

Beach Boys - “God Only Knows”

The Beatles - “Good Night”

The Beatles - “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”

The Beatles - “For No One”

(Alan Civil played on the original recording.  This is Jeffrey Bryant in the video.  For more on this video, see Horn Matters) Paul does a horn impression in this one: 

Steven Curtis Chapman – “The Great Adventure - Prologue”

Chicago – “If You Leave Me Now”

Nat King Cole - “Nature Boy”

Harry Connick, Jr. - “When My Heart Finds Christmas”

Sam Cooke - “A Change is Gonna Come”

Sam Cooke - “Cupid”

The Cranberries - "War Child"

Dream Theater - "Octavarium"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LH_9lJxeiXg (22:10)

Yvonne Elliman – “If I Can’t Have You”

Aretha Franklin – “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”

Peter Gabriel - “Flume”

Peter Gabriel - “Mirrorball”

Jimmy Helms - “I’m Gonna Make You an Offer You Can’t Refuse” (Terry Johns)

The Hollies - “The Air that I Breathe”

Shirley Horn – “Here’s to Life” (Richard Todd)

Elton John - “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King (Richard Watkins)

Annie Lennox – “Into the West” from Return of the King

Henry Mancini - “Days of Wine and Roses”

Mannheim Steamroller – “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” (David Kappy)

The Monkees - "Shades of Gray”

Jack Nitzsche – “The Lonely Surfer”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-spNkl3So88 (1:04, great rips at 2:10)

Eddie Palmieri – “Deseo Salvaje” (Peter Gordon)

The Polyphonic Spree - “Light & Day”

The Polyphonic Spree - "Soldier Girl"

Lionel Richie and Diana Ross - “Endless Love” 

The Rolling Stones - “You Can't Always Get What You Want” (Al Kooper)

The Shins - “The Past and Pending”

Dusty Springfield - “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me”

Morton Stevens – Hawaii Five-0 Theme Song

Barbra Streisand - "People" (Ray Alonge)

U2 - “Unknown Caller” (Richard Watkins)

U2 - “White as Snow” (Richard Watkins)

Kanye West - “All of the Lights”

The Who - “Pictures of Lily”

The Who - “Tommy Overture”

No YouTube videos available:

Hem - “Sailor”
Natalie Merchant - "Life is Sweet" (Tom Varner)
Dawn Upshaw – “My Ship”


This would have been SO much better with live horns!!

*UPDATE: Here's a cool arrangement of "The Final Countdown" played by the German Brass!
*UPDATE (12/10/11): Beirut - "The Akara", http://youtu.be/-ZuQolFrVik

*UPDATE (11/27/12):
Patty & The Emblems - "All My Tomorrows Are Gone", http://youtu.be/WN5uz17HcdY (Kendall Betts)
The Intruders - "Baby I'm So Lonely", http://youtu.be/MNmOonqJ4vo (Kendall Betts)
Jerry Butler - "Never Give You Up", http://youtu.be/T7WJLPGKOwM (Kendall Betts)
The Delfonics - "I'm Sorry", http://youtu.be/pBeu5VW1cYE (Joe DeAngelis)
The Delfonics - "Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time", http://youtu.be/qV7FHNT1HoY (Joe DeAngelis)
The Delfonics - "For the Love I Gave to You", http://youtu.be/NPDNS8oZRf4 (Joe DeAngelis)


  1. The story of the clip from "For No One" may be found here in Horn Matters: http://hornmatters.com/2009/05/horn-solo-on-%e2%80%9cfor-no-one%e2%80%9d/

  2. For anyone interested, The Polyphonic Spree have some other creative songs with pretty fun horn solos. A couple more examples:

    It's the Sun:

    Soldier Girl:

  3. A good friend of mine told me about this one, too. "War Child" by the Cranberries has a beautiful horn part.


  4. Thanks Matthew! I've updated the list with your suggestions.

  5. http://www.amazon.com/Porgy-People-Shorter-Lived-Water/dp/B00005QXCH/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_2 Forgot about this one--a punk/thrash/pop version of "Porgy and Bess," I'm on some tracks--was fun, around 1990. I'm on the first sample.

  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_WhE7mBwK8 Sincerely Jane - Janelle Monae

    Thanks for the list! What an awesome asset!

  7. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kVsvTJuMmQQ
    Natalie Merchant - Henry Darger (Phil Myers)