cornet vs. trumpet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by crowmadic, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    In a thread called "Venues-Small Room" the use of a Cornet was favored over mutes, trumpet, or Flugelhorn. I don't see why a Cornet would produce less impact/volume than a trumpet or Flugelhorn in the hands of a player that is capable of adjusting volume output of all three? In a blindfold test I find it difficult to distinguish the difference in sound between a Cornet and a trumpet...generally speaking, and not considering the extremes. I have a Cornet but haven't played it much, I need a mouthpiece for it. Someone straighten me out on this..................thanks, crow
  2. hornblatt

    hornblatt Pianissimo User

    Jul 30, 2005
    DC area
    A mouthpiece can make a huge difference in sound on a cornet. Even a good cornet will sound like a trumpet if you are using a trumpet mouthpiece. I have a weril cornet that I absolutly love but if I put my piccolo mpc (7EW) in it there's almost no way to tell the difference between that and my trumpet. On the other hand, when I use a true cornet mouthpiece (conn 7) it can almost pass for a flugel. With a deep v-cup mouthpiece the cornet sounds much warmer and softer than a trumpet. You also don't get the edge a trumpet sometimes has.

    I don't know if this answers your question but I think it explains why you couldn't tell the difference in your test.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    A cornet due to the conical bore has a softer, sexier voice that does not carry as well. I find that a cornet speaks at soft volumes more easily (Ever wonder on the Clarke studies how anybody could perform the 500 repeats that he recommends for each of the Technical studies? It works on my 1911 Holton Clarke model long cornet). Up close, they will sound similar in volume, but the projection of the trumpet will make it sound more present to the audience.
  4. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    It may sound funny, but due to the size, and sound of my Schilke XA1 cornet, I find it is more intimate to play in a jazz setting compared to a trumpet or even a flugelhorn.
  5. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 12, 2005
    Saint Paul, MN
    The mouthpiece does make a big difference. I use a comprimise mouthpiece (Laskey 75 DB is a bit of a funnel but with a little bowel at the bottom to keep from compleatly having to blow ones brains out) partly because I can't stand the rim on the Dennis Wicks ( have a2 and 2b) Have thought about having Scott put a 75 rim on the wick 2 cup just to try it out.

    The cornet also has a different approach mentally, the concept of sound is different. Also the articulation is different.

    I do really like the sound of cornets and trumpets in bands, too bad band directors (guilty not sure I could get away) don't insist on this like they used to.
  6. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    After reading the above replies I'm eager to find the appropriate mouthpiece for my Cornet..............thanks, tom/crow
  7. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA
    Good for you!

    The correct mouthpiece will indeed make a huge difference! I've got long bell cornets and shepherd's crook cornets, and much prefer the short bell models for producing that gentle, intimate sound with correct mouthpieces. For some reason the IS a difference in power and projection.

    My mouthpiece of choice, except for jazz and commercial settings is my 1911 Boston mouthpiece that came with one of my Boston 3-Star cornets. I use it in my 2002 Flip Oakes "Wild Thing" short-model cornet and in my Boston cornets.

    Both these horns can speak easily and clearly at the softest of volume levels, although the modern horn can produce a little more power when called upon.

    Here's the mouthpiece. It has a very deeeeep, virtually straight "V-type" funnel, with a huge throat I haven't measured, followed by a fast-flare, very open backbore. The rim also looks like a French horn rim almost . . . very typical of the "cookie cutter" rims of 100 years ago.

    Flexibility is increidble on this "piece," and endurance is also no problem . . . as long as one avoids using pressure, for the rim provides a great air seal with the chops without having to use as much pressure.


    For jazz gigs, I ALWAYS carry the cornet, along with the "manditory" trumpet and fluglehorn. The cornet has a totally different tonal palette. For some reason, folks seem to get quieter, and listen more, when I pick up the cornet. The sound it gets . . . is to die for! For Jazz, I switch to a Warburton "BC" cornet, deep-V type mouthpiece in my favorite size, plus their #10 short shank backbore.

    You'll really love the sound of a cornet . . . and what it will do for your tonal options!

    It is great in orchestral situations . . . and also great for the church musician who needs to remain below a typical amateur church choir! Again, the right mouthpiece is so important . . .


    Tom Turner

    PS: You mentioned you wondered about how it could be preferred at low volume levels vs. a trumpet or flugel . . .

    I played an Easter gig a couple of years ago in a church with a "weaker" choir. The three trumpets could NOT get their sound soft enough. The guys even hung towels on the stands. Alas, still not enough. I pulled out my Wild Thing cornet and brought a couple of really fine Boston 3-Stars for the other two guys. Suddenly, the sound was quite manageable at extremely low volume levels, with a more human, more gentle tone that blened better with the voices and didn't drown them out!

    I highly recommend that all trumpet players who are called upon to sometimes back an amateur choir to get a short cornet and a deep V mouthpiece. It can make an incredible difference . . . both in volume, blend . . . AND the ability to play at extremely soft levels without compromising response, precision or control.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2007
  8. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    Tom, Thank you for all that information. I'm planning a visit to the Warburton factory this week. Beautiful mouthpiece!.............thanks, tom
  9. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    Tom, I have a Conn Director Cornet which according to the Conn Loyalist chart dates around '57/'58 #662534. I learned that it requires a long shank mouthpiece. It's got the smallest leadpipe opening I've ever seen. I'm shopping for a mouthpiece for it. I'd appreciate your comments about the horn. AND, I have a thread sitting in the Vintage Horns/Cornet section with your name on it...............thanks, tom
  10. Siegtrmpt

    Siegtrmpt Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 21, 2005
    I like cornet for small group jazz or playing at parties at homes or small rooms where we are in the background. The mellower sound makes the mood more comfortable for everyone.

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