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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by SAcornetist, Oct 23, 2015.
How do you play the cornet? Do you treat it as a trumpet or as a different instrument?
That all depends on what your playing. Generally it is interchangeable
Aren't there differences in resistance and response?
There are differences is response and resistance from one instrument to another of the same type, brand and model, but experienced players can usually balance these to point where they are either negligible or manageable. Oh, the variables of mouthpieces!
Well, you blow into the little end with the mouthpiece on, wiggle your fingers on the three buttons, and sound comes out.
Actually, there is little difference. If you can play one, you should be able to play the other. There is some difference in resistance (depending on the cornet) and a bit of difference in response, again the instrument will determine how much. I've played open cornets and tight trumpets. It all "depends".
For many, the cornet is a tad "easier" but not so much as one might think.
Stravinsky himself said there really no need to use cornets in his works.
To me, a cornet should never sound like a trumpet. This occurs when players use too shallow a mouthpiece on the cornet.
This is what a cornet should sound like as performed by Gerard Schwarz. He went on to be principal trumpet in the NY Philharmonic, but abruptly quit playing to conduct.
That does sound great! I'd suggest, though, that if you have the opportunity to play both, you let the horn(s) suggest an approach to you. If you're playing classical, or brass band, you could be literal and play cornet when the part says "cornet," or if a knowledgeable composer requests cornet. If you're playing jazz, you might prefer cornet for ballads, or for early jazz, or for hard bop. Or you might make other choices. See what you discover.
The mechanics of playing trumpet and cornet are the same, but in many cases, the approach should be different, especially if you are playing in a brass band or playing cornet parts in a wind band. A deeper, more conical mouthpiece will exploit the inherent mellow sound of a good cornet, and pairing that with a different mindset will get the most from the instrument. Think powerful but reserved, singing instead of screaming, rich instead of edgy, light instead of heavy, etc., and concentrate on playing that way.
From Tim Kent's lesson notes with Bud Herseth, here is what Stravinsky himself thought.
Stravinsky pieces - in world premieres of many of his works, Stravinsky said that cornets need not be used because of little difference between them and trumpets.
I am willing to bet most folks cannot tell if a cornet is being used in an orchestral recording. The same for a recording of an American Orchestra in a recording of a Bruckner symphony. Most can't tell.
A properly played cornet is best described as Dale Proctor has said.
Dale could not have said it better.