How to play the cornet

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

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Sethoflagos started an excellent thread about using a microphone and freeware recording software Audacity to get spectral plots. I think that is a good enough process although we really don't know how to interpret what we are exactly looking at..........

    http://www.trumpetmaster.com/vb/f131/audacity-trumpet-spectra-81052.html

     
  2. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    Notice how much longer than Bessons the valve casings are to accommodate the unique main slide. This will have a big affect on how it plays.
     
  3. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Can I run a theory by you Ivan? While accepting the great importance of mouthpiece choice, model approach etc. The main technical feature that appears consistently to affect my experience of an instrument is the bell flare. The slow flares automatically (for me) giving a trumpet tone, the faster flares (Sovereign type cornets being an extreme) a more orthodox cornet tone. Other factors (wrap, resistance, bore) seem to have little effect on basic sound. Reality or imagination?
     
  4. SAcornetist

    SAcornetist New Friend

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    I play on a getzen eterna and it plays as much cornetish as my other cornet which is a more traditional cornet (a Schenkelaars)
     
  5. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    My short answer Seth: I don't know.
    I do not get many cornets in my shop, however I know that my 70s Imperial has too tight a bell throat to fit on a K&M Stand. At 3 points it is considerably smaller diameter than a regular trumpet bell. In the 60s we used to think that the Besson was brighter than the Imperial, even though we were told they we formed on the same mandrel. Maybe the perceived difference is organic, of the relationship between player and horn, I do not know.

    However, I have been told that the French Besson trumpet bell was, at least originally, formed on the mandrel used for the cornet bells. But I do not know if this is true.

    At this stage of product development, I do not anticipate designing a new bell from scratch. There are plenty of great bell designs already out there, I am happy to choose from those which are available to me.

    I am an empirical kind of guy. I try it - if it works, it stays!
     
  6. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    Seth, as far as I know, bell flare has more or less nothing to do with sound quality on its own. From what I've found, the sound seems to be the result of the whole package - from mouthpiece receiver to bell. I've known cornets like my 1960s Besson International have the characteristic British Brass Band sound - just listen to any Phil McCann recording, he always played on the same Besson International cornet, regardless of which instrument he was endorsing at the time - and yet not fit on a standard K&M trumpet stand; and the Stomvi Elite cornet fits easily on the stand, yet is slightly more trumpety in sound despite it having that solid copper bell... (and both are silver plated, so everything else would be comparable). And if I then compare it to a 1990s Besson Sovereign cornet - that one fits on the stand, yet has the same tone as the International... I think the only solution would lie not only in a sound analysis, but in an optical resonance analysis - you know, showing exactly which parts of the cornet resonate best at which frequencies...
     
  7. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Thanks, Ivan and Elmar. I'm working mainly from 25 year old memories of an old bandroom spare I used to double on so not exactly what you'd call hard evidence. Guess I'll just have to invest in an unattended flowerpot sometime......
     
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    While I'm highly interested in the objective differences between the spectra of trumpets, cornets, flugelhorns, corni da caccia etc., as a player I'm interested as well in the subjective differences. The thread title is about how to play the cornet; my experience has been that each instrument "sings" best when allowed to have its own "voice." Focusing on the sound the instrument wants to make, rather than just playing it like a trumpet, and using appropriate style is, in my opinion, the key to playing cornet and the other high brass.
     
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  9. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    Absolutely! This is exactly what Roger Webster and Richard Marshall were doing in the video.
     
  10. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    As always, you hit the nail on the head - so much so that the nail now has a headache!
     

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