Compact brass wind instrument
The cornet is a brass wind instrument created from a post horn in the 1820s. It is very similar to the trumpet, but there are important differences. A cornet bore is conical which steadily widens all the way through the length of the instrument. Whereas the trumpet bore is cylindrical and remains of the same diameter from mouthpiece to bell. Also, the cornet is a more compact and shorter instrument than the trumpet. The taper, coupled with the fairly deep, funnel-shaped mouthpiece, imparts a mellowness to the tone and a flexibility to the technique that quickly established the cornet in a leading position in brass and military bands, especially in the United States and England.
The cornet should not be confused with the cornett, an instrument that emerged in the late 15th century and remained popular for about 200 years. The first cornet was designed with a conically shaped bell with three valves and a removable shank. One of the first makers was the Parisian Jean Asté in 1828. The cornet could not have been developed without the improvement of piston valves by Friedrich Blühmel and Heinrich Stölzel in the early 19th century. The cornet was originally used in jazz dance music and as a brass voice for orchestra. The first known cornet virtuoso was Jean-Baptiste Arban. The most famous cornet players of the 20th century were Bix Beiderbecke, King Oliver, and Louis Armstrong.
Like most of the modern brass wind instruments the cornet produces the sound when the player vibrates the lips in the mouthpiece to create a vibrating column of air in the tubing. The cornet comes in two basic shapes: the classic "shepherd's crook" and the trumpet-style. The trumpet-style cornet produces more powerful sound than the shepherd's crooks’ which makes it more popular to be used in the large ensembles and orchestras. Traditionally brass tends to be the most common material that cornets are constructed from. Yellow brass is most commonly found in student models (copper to zinc ratio 70:30). High-quality brass (80:20 ratio) is common in higher-quality models. Red or rose brass has the highest copper content (90:10 ratio), which gives the instrument a warmer and softer tone.
Do you want to buy a cornet?
The cornet is a great choice for younger players as it is easier to hold when compared to the trumpet. For those who are just beginning, a Bb cornet is an ideal starter instrument and the one most used, and for those that aspire to be soloist, the Eb soprano cornet may also be considered.
The cornet’s bore is conical or cone like in shape which increases in diameter down the length of the instrument. This gives the cornet a much warmer and softer sound when compared to the trumpet.
Sticky or seized valves are a common issue with cheaper instruments so be sure to check these carefully. Also, the mechanics of the cornet need to be cleaned and lubricated, for this it is necessary to purchase a cornet care products.
Hooks and rings for fingers make holding your instrument more comfortable and help you make small tuning adjustments. If the cornet is being purchased for a younger player, it is worth considering a model with an adjustable 3rd valve slide ring. These are very useful for making adjustments for smaller hands and can be changed overtime as the player grows older.
Buy cornets and cornet accessories in our stores
In the «Musician» stores you can buy cornet and all the necessary accessories, such as: cornet stand, valve oil, brass polish, mouthpiece brush, lyre, polishing cloth and more. You can also buy cornet in our online shop. When you buy a product, it is possible to arrange an address delivery service. You can always count on professional advice and assistance. We care about the quality of service and do everything we can to make sure you are satisfied with your purchase.