ETYM French cornet, cornette, dim. of corne horn, Latin cornu. Related to Horn.
A brass musical instrument with a brilliant tone; has a narrow tube and a flared bell and is played by means of valves; SYN. horn, trumpet.
Military rank of horn-bearer or standard-bearer.
Three-valved brass band instrument, soprano member in B flat of a group of valved horns developed in Austria and Germany about 1820–50 for military band use. Of cylindrical bore, its compact shape and deeper conical bell allow greater speed and agility of intonation than the trumpet, at the expense of less tonal precision and brilliance.
The cornet is typically played with vibrato, and has its own repertoire of virtuoso pieces, heard in brass band concerts and contests, and consisting of voicelike airs, character pieces, Victorian dance forms, and sets of variations in antique divisions style. The cornet is a featured solo in Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka 1911 and The Soldier’s Tale 1919, though its part is now more usually played (perhaps out of pride) by the trumpet.