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The Ancient Brass Instrument The Cornett

May 26, 2008
The cornett should not be confused with the cornet. This is a different kind of wind instrument that is spelled with an extra "t" and is known not only as the cornett, but also as the cornetto or the zink. It is a brass instrument that has been around for quite a while; as far back as the medieval times. It has also been seen in the renaissance and baroque times. The cornetto is not made out of brass, but it is placed in the family because of the mouthpiece. The instrument is a curved tube that ranges in sizes, and has finger holes down its length.

It is a common misconception that all the instruments that fit into the brass family are made out of brass. The cornett has been made out of different materials, including wood, ivory and ebony resin. The mouthpiece, however, is one that typically goes with brass instruments and this is what has placed it in the brass family. One interesting feature of this instrument, besides its curves and the mouthpiece, is that its cross-section is octagonal. It may seem odd, but this is how the instrument is constructed. Its design may be complex, but that is not all about this instrument that can be challenging.

Apparently, this particular instrument is fairly difficult to play. It takes someone with some skill and practice to be able to master the instrument, or at least gain proper understanding and control of it. It may appear similar to the recorder in that it is a long tube with holes drilled into it, but playing it is not as easy. There is more than one type of cornett. There are bass cornetts, tenor cornetts, the curved cornett and the mute cornett. Which a person chooses to play depends on which one appeals to them the most.

After the 18th century, the popularity of the cornett faded, though it is still being used today. Other instruments took over in popularity as music changed with the times, especially during the 1900s. There just wasn't as much of a call for the cornett as there once was. Today, the instrument is still played, but it is not overly popular. This particular instrument will probably be one of the more expensive wind instruments because of its design and the materials that it is made out of. It is an instrument that is not often one suggested to people who have never played a wind instrument.

It can be easier to learn to play when a person has some previous experience and practice with an easier wind instrument. With the basics down, it leaves more time and energy to learning how to play the cornett properly. Playing the cornett for a longer length of time can be more difficult as well. This could be why it is often replaced by the violin in modern music. This is not to say that the instrument is not a rewarding one to play, it can be very rewarding when someone is able to play it well.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments. You can find the best marketplace for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments at these sites for used cornett CDs, autographed cornett CDs, and used cornetts.
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