History of the Cornet

The cornet originated from the post horn in the early 1800's and came into being through the development of the valve system that is now common in other brass instruments. The first virtuoso cornet player was Jean-Baptiste Arban who in 1864 published his Arban method, a tutorial book on development of playing technique and methodology. This book is still the cornet players bible today. The cornet differs from the trumpet in that it is shorter and conical in design as oppose to cylindrical. This design gives the cornet a more mellow tone than the trumpet. All cornets are manufactured in Bb pitch - the higher pitch being given by the solitary soprano (Eb). The traditional brass band will carry 9 cornets, front row of 4 solo cornets, back row consisting of repiano, 2 first cornets and 2 second cornets. In the 50's and 60's James Shepherd and Maurice Murphy were the benchmark for all cornet players to aspire to. Today that responsibility is continued by players such as Roger Webster. The cornet is a popular instrument for young children to learn on as it is light and easy to hold and prices range from £200 - £2000. Please scroll down to be introduced to the cornet players in our band.