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The cornet as we know it today predates recorded history. It is the result of continuing refinements of a tapered animal horn upon which a sound could be produced by blowing on one end just as on a cup mouthpiece. The earliest recorded example of this ancestor of the modern cornet is the ancient Hebrew shofar.
Later, in England in the 14th century, a conical, wooden, leather-covered musical instrument was designed with six finger holes called the ‚Äúcornetto‚ÄĚ from which the modern name is derived. This instrument was extremely popular through the 15th and 16th centuries and included a crude type of mouthpiece.
By the 18th century, cup mouthpiece instruments had advanced considerably and tone holes were covered by keys. This method of producing variable tones did not stay in vogue after piston valves were invented around 1815. With this advancement, the modern instrument was well on its way. The valved model of the ‚Äúcornetto‚ÄĚ became known as the ‚Äúcornopean‚ÄĚ. The cornet today, while not completely conical, is sufficiently so to retain its characteristic mellow sonority and singing tone.
Kanstul cornets have kept this distinguishing voice in mind, coupling it with modern mechanical perfection which permits its ultimate exploitation, and represents another step in the centuries of history surrounding man‚Äôs earliest efforts for musical expression.
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