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
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.
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