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The real differences between cornet and trumpet


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Proteus
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 1:18 pm    Post subject: The real differences between cornet and trumpet Reply with quote

Just found this really interesting article by Ivan Hunter (Jaeger Brass). Surprising, myth-busting, and definitely worth a read.

https://www.jaegerbrass.com/Blo/Entries/2019/9/difference-between-cornet-and-trumpet.html
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The myth of "conical cornet" and "cylindrical trumpet" got busted over a decade ago, perhaps 2 decades ago.

Someone did a rather good survey collecting bore data on hundreds of trumpet and cornet models.

Conclusion of that survey, trumpets tended to have more conical tubing due to their longer bells than cornets. Most manufacturers did not bother with the ultra expensive manufacturing of a conical lead pipe for cornets; instead, cornet manufacturers used cylindrical brass tubing for all the tubing up to and including the valve block.

Like Jaeger Brass concludes, the deep-V mouthpiece and double-wrap of the cornet account for its greater dampening of higher frequencies than single-wrap, shallow-mouthpiece trumpets.

Curved tubing has a big effect: to imagine it, draw a straight line tube and draw a circular tube, then draw low, medium, and high pitch sound waves in each. The high pitch sine waves in the circular tube get distorted as they hit the walls of the tube more often. The lowest frequency sound waves touch the walls of the tube far less often than high frequency sound waves and suffer little distortion.
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zaferis
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, some incorrect information in this, a lack of historical information, and a large lack of data (only compared 2 instruments)..

Then missing a huge factor or the lead pipe diameter (bore size) at the mouthpiece receiver. Most cornets start at a much smaller size.
My understanding is that, over the years, cornets have gotten more cylindrical, and trumpets have become more conical-both moving toward the middle.

I'd call this a "cute" comparison of two instruments, but largely incomplete as a study of Cornet vs. Trumpet.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:44 pm    Post subject: A similar argument: Reply with quote

Trumpet Schmumpet— Some Facts and Observations on the Differences Between Trumpets and Cornets

My opinion is that modern trumpets & modern cornets are the same instrument. At one time they were different, and then their evolution converged to create the hybrid instrument we play today. The distinctions of the 19th century no longer hold today.

Having opined such, I still respect the rules imposed on british brass band participants. They have to use instruments shaped like traditional cornets. They have no choice.

I also know plenty of great players who sincerely feel that they need an instrument in the shape of a trumpet in order to play parts which favor a louder or brighter style.

Robb Stewart has forgotten more about the history and design of brass instruments than I shall ever learn. At the same time, I'm not comfortable telling more experienced trumpet players that the entire cornet-trumpet debate depends on obsolete distinctions and a slight amount of dogma.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason cornets start smaller is that the mouthpiece shank is shorter. That is typically about .750 to one inch shorter.
The inside taper of the backbore is about .070 per inch. That means that adding that inch onto the leadpipe would make it be .070 smaller on the small end. And that is right about where they are. Ball park numbers are, leadpipe-wise a cornet leadpipe and a trumpet leadpipe are not much different. It’s mainly where in the continuum you draw the line and the end of the shank.

These numbers are general numbers and there is variation of course from model to model.
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Bflatman
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was approached when i played peashooter trumpet and invited to play in a British Brass Band among the cornet section.

So I turned up with my peashooter and blended. I used a cornet style deep mouthpiece and a cornet style embouchure.

No problems there

Much later I set out to prove a trumpet can sound like a cornet so I took a BBB style shepherds crook cornet fitted with a trad BBB mouthpiece,

For comparison I took an olds special trumpet in nickel plate - a bright trumpet so I had a tough job of it. I like challenges

I put an ancient deep vee cornet mouthpiece in the trumpet with a converter.

I used the same cornet embouchure on both. In blind testing audience members could not tell the two apart except for one man, He was a musician and he said they sounded almost identical I agreed.

A trumpet can sound like a cornet It is down to the embouchure the mouthpiece and the tonal concept of the player.

I play on a range of cornets and trumpets and sound much the same on them all.

What is the real difference between trumpet and cornet not enough to even care.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bflatman wrote:
I was approached when i played peashooter trumpet and invited to play in a British Brass Band among the cornet section.

So I turned up with my peashooter and blended. I used a cornet style deep mouthpiece and a cornet style embouchure.

No problems there

Much later I set out to prove a trumpet can sound like a cornet so I took a BBB style shepherds crook cornet fitted with a trad BBB mouthpiece,

For comparison I took an olds special trumpet in nickel plate - a bright trumpet so I had a tough job of it. I like challenges

I put an ancient deep vee cornet mouthpiece in the trumpet with a converter.

I used the same cornet embouchure on both. In blind testing audience members could not tell the two apart except for one man, He was a musician and he said they sounded almost identical I agreed.

A trumpet can sound like a cornet It is down to the embouchure the mouthpiece and the tonal concept of the player.

I play on a range of cornets and trumpets and sound much the same on them all.

What is the real difference between trumpet and cornet not enough to even care.


What is a “cornet style embouchure”?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 12:22 am    Post subject: Re: A similar argument: Reply with quote

JWG wrote:
The myth of "conical cornet" and "cylindrical trumpet" got busted over a decade ago, perhaps 2 decades ago.

Maybe, but it's still listed as the major difference between the instruments on way too many 'expert guides' when googled.

Didymus wrote:
I also know plenty of great players who sincerely feel that they need an instrument in the shape of a trumpet in order to play parts which favor a louder or brighter style.

At the same time, I'm not comfortable telling more experienced trumpet players that the entire cornet-trumpet debate depends on obsolete distinctions and a slight amount of dogma.

That does seem what it amounts to...many 'difference between' guides claim that the main differences between the trumpet and cornet are the conical/cylindrical bore and the shape of the mouthpiece. Given that the bore difference between cornet and trumpet are negligible, and you could use the same mouthpiece shape on either instrument, the natural conclusion would be that they are pretty much the same instrument.

The receiver on my Olds Super cornet was replaced with a trumpet receiver so I could play both my trumpet and cornet with the same mouthpieces. Not being a cornet player, at first I struggled to hear any major differences between the instruments but they are there (cornet is a bit muffled, less bright than my trumpet). The cornet certainly has more bends in the tubing, and it's also quite a bit heavier (is that true for cornets in general though?). Finally, as someone on TH mentioned, the instrument feels more intimate because the player's ears are closer to the bell. I wonder if any of those factors affect the sound.

I really don't know what to think of it to be honest.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

loweredsixth wrote:
Bflatman wrote:
I was approached when i played peashooter trumpet and invited to play in a British Brass Band among the cornet section.

So I turned up with my peashooter and blended. I used a cornet style deep mouthpiece and a cornet style embouchure.

No problems there

Much later I set out to prove a trumpet can sound like a cornet so I took a BBB style shepherds crook cornet fitted with a trad BBB mouthpiece,

For comparison I took an olds special trumpet in nickel plate - a bright trumpet so I had a tough job of it. I like challenges

I put an ancient deep vee cornet mouthpiece in the trumpet with a converter.

I used the same cornet embouchure on both. In blind testing audience members could not tell the two apart except for one man, He was a musician and he said they sounded almost identical I agreed.

A trumpet can sound like a cornet It is down to the embouchure the mouthpiece and the tonal concept of the player.

I play on a range of cornets and trumpets and sound much the same on them all.

What is the real difference between trumpet and cornet not enough to even care.


What is a “cornet style embouchure”?


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Just go along.
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delano
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it's possible to get something close to a trumpetsound out of a cornet and the other way around. It's even possible to get a trumpet sound out of a flügel and with the TF mouthpieces some flügel sound out of a trumpet. And I suppose that Joe Zawinul is able to get quite a trumpet sound out of his synthesizer.
So? Why are things like that important to prove only that with some money and pain you can diminish the differences? I think it much more fruitful to investigate the possibilities of making diffences with horns.
Back to the topic: a cornet and a trumpet are NOT the same instruments (though there are some cornets that are built like a trumpet and are very close).
The difference may not be caused by the amount of conical taper but more by the way the conical taper is applied. IMO the very long conical leadpipe of the cornet, the different wrap, the mouthpiece and mouthpiece shank together with in average the bigger bore and bigger bells of the cornet are responsible for the difference in sound and feeling. In particular the leadpipe is a very important factor in the playing and sound charasteristics of a horn. And yes I know that there has been a lot of experimenting with the shape and the construction of cornets and we have of course the long and the short cornet, but still.
BTW even if you treat a cornet as a trumpet with mouthpiece choice and style of playing, there will always be that typical cornet aspect in the sound.
That is my own experience but listen to Warren Vaché, Thad Jones, even Nat Adderley. I admit, Ruby Braff is difficult but he often played the trumpet on records.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqWeVNh73zI&ab_channel=jazzka

edit: I forgot, I really don't understand why someone should put a trumpet receiver on an Olds Super cornet. To use his (sorry: their) trumpet mouthpiece? Waste of the cornet and a waste of the possibilities to try and experiment with the cornet mouthpieces. (I know that there are some pro players who did the same but they had a very good reason for that).
edit 2: old horns are often heavy so old cornets are often heavy, modern ones not per sé.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

delano wrote:
I forgot, I really don't understand why someone should put a trumpet receiver on an Olds Super cornet. To use his (sorry: their) trumpet mouthpiece? Waste of the cornet and a waste of the possibilities to try and experiment with the cornet mouthpieces. (I know that there are some pro players who did the same but they had a very good reason for that).

Like them I too had my reasons. The short version is "It's Trent's fault!". Saw his video before I bought the cornet, and I didn't even thing it were an option. But the real reason is that it came with the 'old' Olds receiver and a very funky and damaged mouthpiece that you wouldn't even want to be in the same room with. I wasn't quite ready to go on yet another mouthpiece safari, and I had 3 excellent trumpet mouthpieces, one of which a deep V short shank. Given that I'm not well versed in cornets at all (and thus don't know what I'd miss, I was just on the lookout for a cool Olds Super, not necessarily a cornet), I figured why not put a trumpet receiver on it? It was cheaper than a single new mouthpiece (which might not even work) and overall it plays nicely enough. If it had come with a modern cornet receiver, I probably would've left it there.

But to stay on topic, you mentioned shank was important...do you think the receiver plays a (big?) role in the cornet sounding like a cornet? And what about the Olds receiver vs. a cornet receiver? Or is it more like you're saying, a combination of a lot of little things combined that make up the difference? I can confirm that the Olds Super cornet (a long cornet, so a bit more trumpety, with a trumpet receiver and mouthpiece to boot) still sounds a little more mellow than either of my trumpets with those same mouthpieces, even with a clueless trumpeter like me playing it like a trumpet instead of a cornet...so there could be something about the cornet as an instrument that makes that difference.

delano wrote:
To use his (sorry: their)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some videos need obviously a 'don't-do-this-at-home warning.
But for the real thing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0sbe_oB3qg&t=18s&ab_channel=TrentAustin
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hibidogrulez
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I can safely assume you think the receiver is a critical part of the cornet then?
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delano
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly spoken: maybe yes, maybe no. I don’t know but the mouthpiece itself is a crucial part of a cornet, there is a reason specialised cornet mouthpieces exist and so there is a function for the cornet receiver. On the other side, the old Olds receiver is indeed not a nice thing. I own an old Dutch Verreijt cornet that is in fact a Begium Van Engelen cornet with such a receiver. I play it with a Yamaha 14F flügel mp (large taper) which fits reasonable well.
But obtaining a mp with the old Olds shank is not THAT difficult.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The difference between a “cornetty” cornet and a trumpet isn’t a matter of the amount of conical vs cylindrical tubing, but the rate of taper of the conical parts themselves.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One aspect is where along the length of the instrument the valve section is placed. Another is how the instrument is wrapped. As stated above, the mouthpiece shank and accompanying smaller beginning diameter of the lead pipe are a factor. The bell taper and flare are also obvious factors in how the horn sounds.

I think the resultant differences are subtle and cumulative. A traditional trumpet wants to be played with more force than a cornet.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

delano wrote:
But obtaining a mp with the old Olds shank is not THAT difficult.

True. To be honest, I didn't think the receiver to make much of a difference when I had it replaced. Olds certainly didn't seem think so, given that they switched receiver size somewhere during the production of their cornets. You could be right though. Maybe in the future I'll consider replacing it with a proper cornet receiver. Putting the old receiver back is possible (still have it) but its size isn't that different from the trumpet receiver and with my current mouthpiece (which is essentially a flugelhorn mouthpiece, which what most people used for Olds cornets anyway) I don't think small size the difference would warrant the expense. A cornet receiver though...maybe. Food for thought.
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Bflatman
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually do agree with delano there is no reason to make a huge effort to make a trumpet sound like a cornet. We have cornets for that.

Let them sound the way they naturally sound. My reason was to see how close I could get.

Cornets should sound like cornets trumpets like trumpets and flugels like flugels.

I do believe they are far more similar than many think however.

I see trumpet embouchure as more relaxed and trumpet more firm.

Thats just my approach
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My somewhat cynical take is that there's something ineffable about the sound of a cornet. Enough that even many actual cornets are said not to sound like real cornets. And any deviation from a pretty narrow combination of horn construction and mouthpiece breaks the spell. And with particular emphasis on the mouthpiece, that's the last thing I'd be inclined to take liberties with.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:58 am    Post subject: Re: A similar argument: Reply with quote

hibidogrulez wrote:
JWG wrote:
The myth of "conical cornet" and "cylindrical trumpet" got busted over a decade ago, perhaps 2 decades ago.

Maybe, but it's still listed as the major difference between the instruments on way too many 'expert guides' when googled.


I was glad to see that someone posted ►Robb Stewart's essay.◄ I've posted it at least twice, over the years.

Just earlier today, I was playing a Dixie gig using short model cornet and a really long (trumpet-length) cornet. Between sets, someone from the audience came up to ask if one was a trumpet and one a cornet.

After we chatted about it for a minute, the banjo player came over to let me know the, "cornet is derived from the conch shell and the trumpet is derived from a bull's horn." The guy's also a pro on trombone and tuba player so he knows at least a bit about brass instruments.

I kinda made a face and said that we could talk about that sometime.

As were were tearing down after the gig, he reiterated his conch-and-bull story with the additional information that, "the cornet is conical and the trumpet is more cylindrical," adding that he knew these things because he read it in "the music encyclopedia."

We've been told this from our first day in 5th-grade band and it is perpetuated by band directors, private teachers (and banjo players), endlessly.

For years I told students and audiences that cornets were about 2/3 conical and 1/3 cylindrical and trumpets were about 1/3, 2/3 conical to cylindrical, until I read Robb's essay.

Interestingly, people will read the article linked by the OP and Robb's essay and still dispute them.

-Denny
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