August 17, 2013 / 11:59 AM / 6 years ago

Swiss horn blowers blast away world record on mountain

Alphorn players blow their instruments in an attempt to break the world record for the largest ensemble of people playing the alphorn, on the Gornergrat in front of the Matterhorn mountain near Zermatt, 3,089 metres (10,135 feet) above sea level, August 17, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

GORNERGRAT, Switzerland (Reuters) - More than 500 Alpine horn players blew away the world record for the largest ensemble of people playing the instrument on Saturday in the Swiss region of Zermatt, home to the Matterhorn mountain.

The musicians, clad in traditional Swiss costume, gathered on the Gornergrat ridge, more than 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) above sea level, to perform a piece specially composed for their wooden horns.

The 508 players broke a record set in 2009, when 366 musicians took part in a concert.

The instrument, known as an alphorn and traditionally used for herding animals, can be up to four meters long. It has to be propped up on the ground and its player usually has to stand up to sound it because of its size.

Writing by Alice Baghdjian; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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