Horn fluttertongue swells

I wrote some fluttertongue swells into a French horn part for a double wind quintet I recently workshopped, and the players had a hard time with them on the quiet ends of the swell. I know this technique is very possible on flute (I used it in the same piece), and I seem to remember being able to do it on trumpet in highschool. I was hoping I could check this against the experience of some other horn players, but I don't have any in my rolodex. Does anyone here have anything to say for/against quiet or swelled fluttertonguing on the French horn, or any other instrument for that matter?

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  • Flutter tongue is most common when used in a crescendo or even fp crescendo effect. I am able to start a flutter softly and correctly on a trumpet. I've never tried it on a horn and don't have one accessible at the time, but from my experience as a brass player, it should be possible to play.

    Then next thing to consider is that some musicians never learned to flutter, growl, etc. I'm not sure if they physically cannot, but I've seen it before. So it's possible your quintet horn player(s) may just need to practice it a bit.

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