Cornets are the leading melodic voice in the British style Brass Band; trumpets are never used. The ensemble consists of about thirty musicians, including nine B♭ cornets and one E♭ Soprano cornet. In the UK, companies such as Besson and Boosey & Hawkes specialized in instrument for brass bands, although many other companies now manufacture instruments to a high specification from around the world.
The first notable virtuoso player was Jean-Baptiste Arban, who studied the cornet extensively and published La grande méthode complète de cornet à piston et de saxhorn, commonly referred to as the Arban Method, in 1864. Up until the early 20th century, the trumpet and cornet coexisted in musical ensembles. Symphonic repertoire often involves separate parts for trumpet and cornet. As several instrument builders made improvements to both instruments, they started to look and sound more alike. The modern day cornet is used in brass bands, concert bands, and in specific orchestral repertoire that requires a more mellow sound.
Instruments listed as being in stock are available to try if you are able to visit us or to buy online.
Instruments listed as “to order” can be purchased online but we recommend contacting us for an estimated delivery date before ordering.
Our current stock of second hand brass can be seen here.