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What is a Musical Car Horn?

By J. Beam
Updated Feb 21, 2024
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A musical car horn is exactly what it sounds like — a car horn that plays musical tunes. As a car accessory, it adds a unique touch to a vehicle. Though not a stock part, this type of specialty horn can be installed in nearly any vehicle. Depending on regional and local laws, however, it may be illegal to swap out a standard car horn for a musical one, though having both is often considered acceptable.

There a wide variety of musical car horns that produce not only music, but sound effects as well. Some popular examples of tunes or sounds that one may play include the song "Dixie," which garnered a great deal of popularity from the 1979 television show The Dukes of Hazzard, the wolf whistle, and the Ooga horn.

There are also various models of the programmable musical car horn that allow users to select any of a number of built-in songs or sounds. Examples include seasonal and patriotic music, popular songs like The William Tell Overture and La Cucaracha, voice recordings, various animal sounds, and sound effects such as a train, revving engine, or laser blast. It's even possible to buy one that plays part of the Star Trek theme song.

With so many varied sounds and tunes available, it’s easy for a car owner to personalize his or her vehicle. Even if a person cannot find a horn that plays the song or makes the sound he or she wants, it is also possible for people to record their own sounds in some cases.

Drivers should remember that a novelty or musical car horn should not replace the emergency signal that a stock horn was meant to produce. Before installing a new horn, car owners should check their local ordinances to ensure they are following the law and that they won’t be liable for noise ordinance violations when using the horn.

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Discussion Comments

By Pippinwhite — On Jan 25, 2014

I remember after "The Dukes of Hazzard" got popular, you could go outside any time and hear a "Dixie" horn. I really wanted my dad to get one for his car, but needless to say, he wasn't interested in doing that. I really wanted one, though.

Musical horns really don't do much except annoy the other drivers on the road. People just aren't programmed to listen for them as a hazard warning. However, they are much less common these days, so they might get a driver's attention. However, getting it in a good way is the object, not startling them into having an accident.

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