How to Blow a Viking Horn

Viking horns, also known as the cow horn or bugle, were used for signaling and musical enjoyment.

Blowing a Viking horn is a simple process of using the instrument’s natural shape to create a unique booming buzz sound. Viking horns are made from a single piece of cow horn and do not often require reeds or other mouthpieces unless the natural mouthpiece is extremely thin. Producing sound through a Viking horn is similar to blowing air through a trumpet.

Grip the Viking horn around the center of the instrument with your dominant hand to ensure stability.

Purse your lips tightly against the edges of the natural mouthpiece. If you find the Viking horn’s natural mouthpiece too thin, it may help to attach a brass mouthpiece which can be purchased from a local brass instrument store. Look for a trumpet or French horn mouthpiece and have it molded to fit the contour of your horn.

Blow strongly and consistently into the mouthpiece while pursing your lips. Your lip’s vibrations create a buzzing sound in the mouthpiece that booms throughout the instrument.

  • Mouthpieces can permanently attach to the horn with glue, although molded mouthpieces should fit securely inside the natural opening without glue. Prices begin around $40.

Jennifer Campbell began writing professionally in 2008 and has been published on various online journals including eHow, and covering relationship, lifestyle, travel, and health- and fitness-related topics. Campbell has a Bachelor of Science in advertising/public relations from Texas Christian University, Schieffer School of Journalism.