The Anatomy of the Cornet

The cornet is a member of the brass family and is very similar to the trumpet, albeit much smaller. Each part of the cornet plays an important role in how the instrument works: 

Mouthpiece: The mouthpiece is a funnel like device used on brass instruments such as the cornet. Cornet mouthpieces are typically made from metal, although plastic ones are available for younger players. To play the cornet the player, whilst buzzing their lips, will push air from the mouthpiece through the instrument.

Mouthpiece Receiver: The mouthpiece receiver is a metal cylinder at the end of the cornets leadpipe that the mouthpiece is inserted into. The mouthpiece should be placed into the receiver with little pressure to avoid the mouthpiece from getting stuck.

Leadpipe: The leadpipe is the metal tubing that extends from the mouthpiece to the tuning slide.

Valves: The cornet has three valves which are made up of valve pistons and valve casings. You will find the three valves at the centre of the instrument; the first is closest to the player, the second in the centre and the third is the furthest away from the player.

The cylindrical valve casings house the valve pistons. When the player presses the valve pistons they will move up and down inside the casing. The valve pistons are metal cylinders that feature a serious of holes. The positioning of the holes is specific to each valve so they are not interchangeable. When the player blows air through the cornet the valve pistons will reroute the air into different valve slides depending on the players finger positions. Using a combination of finger positions and air pressure the player can change the tone of the cornet.


Image shows how valves pistons work on a trumpet

Valve Slides: The cornet features three valve slides. The valve slides allow the player to make micro-adjustments to the pitch of the cornet by moving the slide in or out. 

Tuning Slide: The tuning slide is the largest slide on the cornet. It allows the player to make fine adjustments to the tone the cornet produces by sliding it in or out.

Finger Hook, Thumb Hook & Slide Ring: The finger and thumb hooks allow the player to get a good grip on the cornet, and when necessary, they allow the player to play one handed. The slide ring also allows the player to get a good grip of the cornet but can also be used to move the third valve slide. 

Water Keys: The water keys cover small holes in the cornet that when opened by the player allow moisture to escape the instrument.

Bell: The bell is probably the most noticeable part of the cornet but it is not just for aesthetics. The bells main purpose is to project sound from the instrument. Alterations made to the bell, such as using different materials, changing the size, or the shape of the flare can also effect the tone of the instrument. 

If you would like your own cornet check out the cornets we have available here.

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