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Renaissance wind instr., spelt usually with double ‘t’ to avoid confusion with the band cornet. Name means ‘little horn’. Heyday approx. 1500–1600. Hybrid form, combining brass cup‐mouthpiece technique with woodwind finger technique, and was admired for its versatility of tone: as loud as a tpt., agile as a vn., and flexible as a v. Three varieties, curved, straight, and mute, all in different sizes. Mute prod. an exquisitely soft tone. Curved was most popular form and was used as a virtuoso instr., particularly by Monteverdi in his Vespers and Orfeo. All cornetts were in G with a range of 2 octaves. Cornettino developed for very high parts, pitched in C or D, and there were alto cornetts in F and the large ten. cornett in C. The cornett was displaced by baroque tpt. and baroque ob. See also serpent and ophicleide.

Subjects: Music.

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