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William Hopson - Alphorn Maker, Alphorn Performer and Alphorn Teacher
The RMA Alphorn

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The Alphorn: William Hopson and Rocky Mountain Alphorns

The archaeological record of the Alphorn stretches back nearly two thousand years to the Celtic tribes that originally settled the rugged land on the northern slopes of the Alps. Since ancient times the Alphorn has sounded as a part of the daily activities of the shepherds and cowherds of these mountain people. The Alphorn was used to calm the dairy cows at milking time. It was the twilight signal for the flocks of sheep to settle in for the night as the shepherds exchanged rustic melodies across the valleys. Such melodies became ritual signals for "All is Well in the Valley" and were passed down through countless generations, from shepherd father to shepherd son. The sound of the Alphorn called the people to gather for council and the men to gather for war. Even the brooding rock walls of the Alps seemed to echo approval to the sound of the Alphorn. Long beloved by the people of Switzerland, Rocky Mountain Alphorns now brings nature's perfect horn to North America.

The Alphorn design is simple: A hollow tube, carefully carved out of spruce wood to time tested dimensions. This is an instrument that is built for sound; mellow and reverberant. The notes of the Alphorn are tuned by nature to a scale of unique beauty, with a range of musical expression over three full octaves that is astonishing to the uninitiate. Although known for long and arching phrases of a pastoral nature, the Alphorn is also capable of displays of spectacular virtuosity in the hands of a very few players.

As one of the world's leading players, William Hopson has introduced the sonorous music of the Alphorn to audiences in North America, Europe and Asia. Climbing the Pragel Pass above the Kloental See As an Alphorn maker, his Rocky Mountain Alphorns offer a handcrafted instrument with both superior playing qualities and extraordinary visual beauty.

William Hopson and fellow Alphorn blowers Fritz Frautschi, Tony Brazelton and Brian Priebe are now offering the first North American Alphorn Retreat. It is a place for North American Alphorn blowers to meet other Alphorn blowers and learn more about the Alphorn. For more information, click on Alphorn Retreat on the Salzburger Echo webpage.

William Hopson also enjoys teaching Alphorn every summer in the Alps. He is currently teaching at The Swiss Alphorn School (in Gstaad, Switzerland) and at The Alphornseminar Diemtigtal (in Diemtigtal, Switzerland).

You will also find William Hopson's Alphorn compact discs and music on this website, and comprehensive links to other Alphorn resources.

The Alphorn has a long and storied history, and Rocky Mountain Alphorns is dedicated to the appreciation and continuance of Alphorn music and Alphorn tradition.

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