How to play the cornet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by SAcornetist, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    8,216
    7,609
    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Rich, it is difficult to tell the difference between cornet and trumpet in a classical recording, as you say. I'd guess that's because most orchestral players use fairly large mouthpieces and play with a big, rich tone, and are very good at what they do. Just as you can play the two instruments to exaggerate the differences, you can also play them to minimize the differences, which can be small to begin with.
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,611
    7,954
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    I think hardware is secondary. Of course the instruments are technically interchangeable, BUT the purpose of the piece being played and the attitude I find considerably different.

    A simple question was asked, but we don't know if this was asked by a "beginner", an intermediate player with no exposure to cornets or a professional troublemaker.

    So........
    1) for a beginner, the technique is the same. It may be easier to hold and hear as the instrument is built more compactly and the bell is close to the ear.
    2) for the intermediate player, it can be an introduction to a more intimate style of playing. When I play cornet, I find a great amount of color up to Forte. I almost never have the urge to "blast". When playing pieces like the Carnival of Venice, I back off and play with color and articulation to a much greater degree.
    3) to the troublemaker: It is possible to play a cornet like a trumpet or a trumpet like a cornet. What is the point however? Al Vizzuti proves how brilliant cornet material can sound with a trumpet, Wynton Marsalis proves how intimate a cornet can sound. Check Trent Austin out with his new "Hornet". That is cornet playing. He plays/improvises to use the characteristics of the horn attached to his face. He has a lot of stuff posted at his ACB site.
    4) to the hardware geeks: there is a discussion about the sound of trumpets and cornets in the thread for "best trumpet for the Haydn/Hummel". There is a stand there that all modern perinet trumpets are actually cornets. I say HOGWASH. If we look at Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev, there are two trumpets and one cornet. His intention was not to have all three parts sound the same. The same goes for Berlioz, brass band and symphonic wind ensemble.

    I believe that the biggest difference is in the head of the PLAYER. The cornet is the step between the trumpet and flugelhorn. If we explore the possibilities of each instrument, our available palette of colors increases, our playing becomes more attractive. We don't play the cornet because we have to, we play it because it has the color palette of choice for what we are doing.

    I treat a Bb trumpet, C trumpet, rotary trumpet, picc, cornet, natural trumpet all individually. They each have a unique palette of color.
     
  3. SAcornetist

    SAcornetist New Friend

    20
    0
    Sep 27, 2015
    Sweden
    I've played cornet for ten years and it's my primary instrument and many people seems to think that it's interchangeable with trumpet. I just asked to se what you thought. How you think about it. Nothing else :)
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,611
    7,954
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    Cool!

    Trumpet would be different in that you could add aggressive, sharp, cutting to the languages that you speak. I picture the colors white, yellow, orange and bright red as not being on the cornet. Dark red to light blue are "common" colors. The cornet has additional dark colors beyond light blue.

    The instruments can be interchangeable, but it is like speaking with an accent.

     
  5. Reedman1

    Reedman1 Piano User

    290
    121
    Sep 5, 2013
    NY, USA
    Oh! And how do you play the cornet?
     
  6. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    5,331
    4,731
    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    A bit like this

     
  7. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Age:
    68
    3,014
    3,583
    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    As one who played Brass Band cornet for his first 12 years or so, reaching a very high level, I can tell you that the difference between the 2 instruments is so small it is enormous. The subtleties are what get you. There is a completely different mental approach to playing each of these. A teacher may be concerned with things like sound focus or dynamic range on trumpet, but until your head gets completely into the trumpet you will sound like a cornet player on it.

    My transition took over 2 years.
     
  8. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Age:
    68
    3,014
    3,583
    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    I have just listened to Seth's video. A characteristic of the cornet sound is what Richard does to the eighth note at the end of the triple-tongued phrases. This note is "massaged" in a certain way with added vibrato. Like a multiple diphthong. One would avoid doing this on trumpet.

    PS One of my students previously played Saxophone for a long time and after 2 years I still hear some Saxophone influences in his playing.
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,611
    7,954
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
  10. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    4,467
    4,565
    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    As to Mr Gerard Schwarz - that is how an American straight cornet is supposed to sound. Very well played and a really good example of the kind of cornet sound Herbert L.Clarke would have had in mind.
    But...
    there are shepherd's crook cornets as well. And they are totally different beasts:

    Here's Hakan Hardenberger - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbrvL6aW6SI

    and here Philip McCann, one of greatest cornetists of all time (an amateur!!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCEQh1KZySg and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCEQh1KZySg
    And, here's "the shores of the might pacific" for you - Phil McCann again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6e-MmzO4OY
     

Share This Page