The Magic of the Alphorn

By | 12/05/2023
13/06/2023 @ 2:15 pm – 4:00 pm

In June, Frances Jones will give a talk on the ‘The Magic of the Alphorn’.  She will introduce you to the wonderful world of mountains and cows, and the alphorn that was used by the cowherds to manage their herds in the high Alpine pastures.

Frances will describe how the alphorn has been known about as a tool for the Alpine herdsman since the earliest records. It was an essential piece of equipment for calling the cows and for communication in the high mountain meadows. Its musical properties are a secondary phenomenon. Since the days of the Grand Tour, it has become an iconic symbol of Switzerland; today it is played by thousands of Swiss as a hobby, and is an unmissable attraction to be heard at every Swiss tourist location during the summer season.

Frances Jones is a Classical musician, principally playing oboe and French horn. She heard a CD of alphorn music in 2004 and was instantly smitten. She is the only professional alphorn player in the UK and through her website and personal contacts has invitations to perform, give lectures and teach alphorn all over the world – including Switzerland! She recently completed a PhD about the influence of the alphorn on Classical music, now a fascinating book ‘The Alphorn through the Eyes of the Classical Composer’.

The talk will be held at the Desborough Bowling Club at 10 Green Lane, Maidenhead SL6 1XZPlease aim to arrive between 2.00 and 2.15pm.  To avoid problems with parking, please share rides if possible.  You may park in the spaces for buses.  If the bowling club car park is full, you can park in front of Lidl or Homebase which are a short walk away for up to two hours, ideally having made a purchase. 


If you have any comments before or after the meeting, or suggestions for talks, please contact Speaker Organiser, Philip Ratcliffe, on