Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Brass Brothers

  Everyone knows what a trumpet is: it is a brass instrument that has been around for thousands of years. But how many people know what a cornet is?
  A trumpet is basically a brass instrument that is blown on to make a sound, and is often used for announcing or calling. The modern trumpet has several valves, curving pipes, and is rather small. But then what is a cornet?
  The trumpet has evolved over hundreds of years, but the modern trumpet first appeared in the early 1800’s. The cornet was invented about the same time as the trumpet, first built in the late 1820’s. Even so, the cornet’s sound was preferred, and was more used than the trumpet for some years.
   This is a cornet. 
  Among other things, the cornet is slightly smaller than the trumpet, but it plays in the same key, Bb. The cornet has a sweeter, more mellow sound than the trumpet, and does not have the sharpness of the sound of the latter. Also, they look slightly different.
  This is a trumpet.
  I started playing the trumpet last year. When my father was in school, he played the cornet in the school band. Recently I have taken an interest in the cornet, and some time ago, my teacher told me that he had a cornet. So several weeks I ago asked him if there is any difference in the playing technique between the cornet and the trumpet, and he told me there isn’t. Also, he offered to let me play on his cornet. Then on Thursday I asked to borrow it for a week, so now I have one of each (not to own, of course).
  I am still trying to decide which I prefer, and if I choose the cornet, I might change to the cornet. I have included some photos so that if you do not know the difference, you can see. The shape of the cornet varies slightly.
  The best photo that I have of the two instruments has my brother’s French horn in it.

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