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
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.
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.
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.