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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by christineka, Oct 2, 2013.
....or even double-wrap a trumpet and call it a cornet
Well, actually, that's sort of the point. Based on percentage of conical tubing versus straight... a modern trumpet is just a funny-looking cornet.
If someone were to ask me what the difference between a trumpet and cornet was, I'd say that a trumpet takes a larger mouthpiece than a cornet does, because both trumpets and cornets vary so much.
But I had a matched pair of Buescher 400 trumpet and cornet, before I sold the cornet. The difference in the character of sound was unmistakable... and this was with a huge commonality of parts.
(That Buescher 400 cornet is the best cornet on the planet, by the way. The Model 265 Custom Built is also up there.)
I've played a Buescher 400 cornet once. Nice, to be sure. But no match tone-wise to my Besson International. I've scoured the planet for a replacement for that one - did not find one, even though I was prepared to pay almost any price. Had several instrument makers try and make exact copies. The result? Good instruments, but just did not have that extra special sound. Only one cornet at the moment comes close - the Stomvi Elite (not even the Master) with a silver-plated copper bell.
The differences (how the tubing is different and how one is more cylindrical than the other has been explained. I would suggest that the cornet and the Bb trumpet are two different animals. It would be hard to beat a good cornet doing Sousa music as it would be hard to beat a trumpet doing the lead on Maynard's Give It One. Different tools for different jobs.
However, it's a law of nature that the if something is in demand, someone will supply that something. Trumpets far more in demand than cornets. Does this make trumpets better? I don't think so. Does this suggest that trumpets are more desirable? possibly. There's also the chance that corporations push trumpets instead of cornets due to cost. Maybe it costs more to make a cornet. I use trumpet exclusively but I do not take anything away from cornets as they are fine sounding instruments and in my opinion superior in certain settings..
You can't fault a man for liking what he likes, and why are you looking for a replacement?
I think Europe has kept more distance between trumpets and cornets than you guys have across the water. Maybe its the way trumpet manufacture developed over there, and the demand soon after for mellow-sounding trumpets for jazz genres.
First time I played the Wild Thing, I was struck by how 'cornetty' it felt. I've not played enough American instruments to generalise, but maybe you've indulged in more design miscegenation than Europe has.
On the mouthpiece side, the big difference for us is throat bore. I tend to go towards 4mm which is quite big for a trumpet. BBB Cornet players tend to play larger, up to around 4.5mm.
So when Dale talks of putting a 10 1/2C mouthpiece into a large bore cornet, to me at least, he's turning a trumpetty cornet even more trumpetty.
So yes, cornets can compet with trumpets power-wise to a certain extent, but only by turning them into trumpets which is kind of a circular argument isn't it?
I actually prefer playing my cornet, but it just doesn't blend well in the sections. Once in a while I get to play cornet parts against trumpet parts and that's a lot of fun. In the smaller of the bands I play in one of the other trumpet player also has a cornet and we're talking about dividing out cornet parts for ourselves when the remaining trumpet players can handle the trumpet parts. I started on a cornet (Getzen Super Deluxe Tone Balanced) and though I have primarily played trumpet since Jr. High I never lost my love to a wonderful and under appreciated instrument.
Yep, just like the counter-clockwise circular argument for mellow-sounding trumpets trying to be cornets, with mouthpieces and design features that are very "cornetty". I take a trumpet and cornet with me almost everywhere I go. After playing cornet for so long, it's a bit of freedom to realize that I can let my trumpet sound like a trumpet (sometimes a cornet just won't do) and cut loose on it. When I need mellow or sweet, or when the part has CORNET printed at the top, I play the cornet.
A year or two ago, I played in a large wind ensemble made up of many of the better players in town (why they invited me, I'll never know) - a throw-together group for a few rehearsals and a concert. Believe it or not, all the cornet parts were covered by cornets and the trumpet parts were covered by trumpets...just the way it's supposed to be. A lot of the cornet/trumpet section was made up of players from our brass band, so we had cornets and knew how to use them...
Word on the street is that the cornet was birthed by the post-horn, and the valved trumpet from the natural trumpet. Building an instrument with valves is not the easiest thing to do. The idea of a B[SUP]b[/SUP] valved instrument caused problems, trumpeters stuck to their natural trumpets in the orchestras and the conical based cornet was used primarily in salon music and looked down on by trumpeters. For a while the slide trumpet was in vogue, and as composers welcomed chromatic brass instruments, the valved trumpet in low Eb and F became prevalent in orchestras and once the B[SUP]b[/SUP] got the kinks worked out it became the instrument of choice. Trumpeters tried to emulate the heroic nature of the natural trumpet, and the cornet was the instrument of choice in military bands. With the advent of jazz the trumpet became the instrument of choice, brighter and louder it earned its place. Slowly, over time the long cornet became popular because it sounded more like a trumpet but was accepted in bands.
Me? I have a 1895 Holton and use a deep V mouthpieces taken from a Sears cornet. It sounds like a small-belled flugelhorn.
I think the valved trumpet evolved from the valved cornet. Because they were chromatic instruments and easier to play, cornets were beginning to filter into orchestras, taking the place of natural/keyed trumpets. Although the natural trumpet traditionalists looked on cornets with disdain, they coveted those three lovely valves. There are examples of "orchestral cornets" from the 1870's, which already show an evolution toward what is called a trumpet today. Of course, due to the later popularity of trumpets, the cornet was corrupted in the U.S. with the "American wrap" and "long models", which defined the cornet as the trumpet's little brother since they had close to the same sound as a trumpet.
Here's an 1870's orchestral cornet made by Lyon & Healy (Looks a lot like a modern rotary trumpet, doesn't it?)