The Cornet is a brass instrument similar to the trumpet but distinguishable from it by its conical bore, compact shape and more mellow tonal quality. The instrument has a rich history and was initially derived from the post horn around 1820 in France.
The modern day Cornet is used in brass bands, concert bands, and in specific orchestral repertoire that requires a more mellow sound.
Timeline Of The Cornet
The Post Horn – aka Tonga Horn
Before valves were a thing, the closest instrument was the Post Horn. It is a valveless cylindrical brass instrument with a cupped mouthpiece.
To create the instrument we know today, they literally just added valves. Over time it has evolved so much that it no longer resembles a Post Horn as it once did.
The Post Horn was used to signal the arrival or departure of a post rider or mail coach; used especially by postilions of the 18th and 19th centuries. Since 1941 the Post Horn has been played at the beginning of home matches of Leicester City Football Club, so if you’ve ever made the trip to the King Power Stadium on match day, you’ve probably heard this instrument being played.
The Pocket Cornet
The Pocket Cornet, also known as the Pocket Trumpet, is a compact size B♭, with the same playing range as the regular Cornet. The length of the tubing, if straightened, would measure the same as that of a traditional Cornet. This tubing is wound more tightly to reduce the instrument’s size while retaining the characteristic sound.
The bell is generally of smaller diameter than a standard Cornet. It is not usually found in concert band or orchestra brass sections and is generally regarded as a novelty. It is used mostly by players as a practice instrument that can be packed in a suitcase and taken on your travels.
Although the Cornet sadly doesn’t have a reputation as being a serious concert band or orchestral instrument, soloists in jazz or other ensembles play it to add flair and variety. So how about adding a little spirit to your band by taking a look at our fantastic Normans range.