A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Cornet (organ stop)

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CORNET. This name is given to several kinds of organ stops; among others to pedal reed-stops of 4 and 2 feet length in numerous Dutch and German organs. A 'Cornette' of 4 feet occurs in the cathedral organ at Kronstadt; a 'Cornetin' of 2 feet in the 'Old Church' organ at Amsterdam; and a 'Cornettino,' 2 feet, in the music hall organ at Boston in America.

The great organ Solo Cornet comprised either 5, 4, or 3 ranks of pipes. When of the former it consisted of a stopped diapason, principal, twelfth, fifteenth, and tierce. When of 4 ranks the stopped diapason was omitted; when of 3, that and the principal were left out; so that the 'composition' on the middle C key stood thus—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 3/4 s4 <c' c'' g'' c''' e'''>4^\markup { \smaller \center-align "5 ranks" } s s <c'' g'' c''' e'''>^\markup { \smaller \center-align "4 ranks" } -\tweak #'X-offset #0 -\tweak #'Y-offset #-2.5 -\prall s s <g'' c''' e'''>^\markup { \smaller \center-align "3 ranks" } -\tweak #'X-offset #0 -\tweak #'Y-offset #-2.5 -\prall -\tweak #'X-offset #0.5 -\tweak #'Y-offset #0.5 -\prallup }

and the one or two separate stops necessary were added or 'drawn' with the cornet when the series of 5 pipes was not complete. The pipes of the solo cornet were 4 or 5 'scales' wider or 'larger' than the corresponding pipes of the ordinary stops, to render the tone very powerful and broad; and very frequently, in order to make it still more prominent, the stop was placed on a sound-board of its own and raised a few feet above the surrounding pipes, in which case it was called a 'mounted cornet.' Father Smith's solo cornet at the Temple (4 ranks) was not mounted.

The Echo Cornet, of soft tone, and shut up in a box, was of 3 ranks, or 4 at most, the composition being as above given. 'Cornet Voluntaries,' as they were called, were in great vogue for a very long time, and consisted of runs and twirls for the right hand, played in single notes, first on the louder stop and then repeated on the softer, the left hand meanwhile playing a soft bass. So fashionable were these peculiar display pieces that Dr. Dupuis states on the title-page of his volume of voluntaries, containing specimens of the kind, that they were 'Performed before their Majesties at the Chapel Royal, St. Paul's Cathedral, etc.'; while Russell, in his book printed in 1812, shows that the attachment for the old Echo still lingered exactly a century after it had been improved upon by the invention of the Swell (in 1712), by directing at the head of one of his pieces 'The Swell Pedal not to be used in this movement.' The name 'Echo Cornet' is still frequently applied to a compound stop of small scale and light tone in swell organs. In many of the continental organs the cornet stop extends down to tenor C; and in some places it is used, on account of its strong and travelling tone, as an accompaniment to the priest's voice at the far end of the church. This is, or was, the custom a few years ago in many of the churches of Cologne, including the cathedral.

As the cornet is a compound stop that can be carried through the usual compass of a manual without any 'break' in its composition, it is sometimes looked upon as a good stop for covering the repetitions which necessarily occur in all compound stops that rise to a greater altitude than itself above the unison. At such times it is made as a 'progressive' stop; that is to say, it has fewer pipes in the bass, with an increasing number up to the middle of the key-board. Commencing with two pipes on the CC key, a third rank is added at tenor C, and a fourth at middle C; and the stop starts with a fifteenth and tierce, to which are added first a twelfth and then a principal, thus—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 3/4 << { s4 <e' c'>^\markup { \halign #-0.25 \smaller "2 ranks" } s s <e'' c'' g'>^\markup { \smaller \center-align "3 ranks" } s s <e''' c''' g'' c''>^\markup { \smaller \center-align "4 ranks" } s }
\new Staff { \clef bass s4 c, s s c s s c' s } >> }
The 'large scale' is preserved, but the pipes have only narrow mouths, and produce a pleasant and rather flute-like quality of tone. A stop somewhat of this kind occurs on the great manual of Schulze's fine organ in Doncaster parish church.

[ E. J. H. ]