A cornet is a brass instrument that looks like a smaller, wider trumpet. The cornet used to be a common feature of jazz bands, until it was replaced by the trumpet.

The cornet sounds similar to a trumpet, but softer and mellower. This difference in tone or timbre is why a cornet can't usually be played as a substitute for a trumpet (or vice versa), even though they are played in the same way and at identical pitches. They simply sound different. The word cornet comes from the original cornet-à-pistons, or "cornet with valves," and the Latin cornu, "horn."

Definitions of cornet

n a brass musical instrument with a brilliant tone; has a narrow tube and a flared bell and is played by means of valves

horn, trump, trumpet
an obsolete bass cornet; resembles a snake
Type of:
brass, brass instrument
a wind instrument that consists of a brass tube (usually of variable length) that is blown by means of a cup-shaped or funnel-shaped mouthpiece

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