Cornets – A Musical Instrument Cornet Guide

Although this brass instrument has been widely replaced by the trumpet in orchestras, small ensembles, and solo performances, the cornet is still used as the main high voice in British and European brass bands. It produces a mellower sound than the trumpet, making it a distinctive and useful instrument in certain circumstances. A lot of times however, there are wind instruments that sound similar to the cornet; and are thus replaced by them. Below   are  the four types of cornets: alto cornets, tenor cornets, bass cornets, and  mute  cornets.

Alto cornets Just like a typical cornet, the alto cornet has a narrow tube and a flared ball, but with a wider bore. It produces a lower tone than the standard treble cornet. It is commonly used in ensembles and musical performances.

Tenor cornets

The tenor cornet, also called the lizard cornet, was popular during the Baroque and Renaissance era. It has a range of two and a half octaves and is tuned in the key of C. Experienced tenor cornet players can push the instrument to play higher octaves. The lowest note it can play is A C below the middle C.

Bass cornets

The bass cornet has a similar sound and tone to some wind instruments such as the serpent and the trombone, thus it is often replaced in orchestras. It plays an octave lower than the standard treble cornet and can produce the low-lying parts in the C tenor clef.

 Mute  cornets

The  mute  cornet has a narrow bore with a conical recess mouthpiece at the top. It has several holes along the body and has a straight and tapered design. It produces soft sounds and is usually played together with recorders, viols, and flutes.