Music Gateway
Login or Join for Free
or sign up with
Spotify icon
Burger menu
Large chevron
close icon

Musical Instruments

Cornet Vs Trumpet: What’s The Difference?

Photograph of the blog post author, Annika Hope

Annika Hope


Small blue and purple gradient divider


Trumpets and cornets are fun to play because they offer a wide range of sounds and tones that can be used to create unique and interesting music. They are also relatively easy to learn, so even a beginner can make beautiful music with them. The trumpet and cornet also offer a great way to express yourself musically, as they can be used to play a variety of styles and genres. But what is the difference, here you will find out. Let’s get started.  

Cornet vs Trumpet

What Is A Cornet?

The cornet is a brass instrument that has been around for centuries. It is believed to have originated in the Middle Ages when it was used by minstrels and troubadours to accompany their songs. 

The early form of the cornet was called a “cornemuse” and was made from a single piece of metal. In the 18th century, the cornet began to take on a more modern form. The instrument was developed by French instrument maker Jean-Baptiste Arban, who developed a two-piece design that included a trumpet-like bell and a cylindrical tube. This design was eventually adopted by other instrument makers and became the standard for the modern cornet.

The cornet has been used in a variety of musical settings, from classical to jazz to popular music. It has been used in orchestras, brass bands, marching bands, and even in rock and roll. It is also a popular solo instrument, with many virtuoso cornet players emerging in the 20th century.

The cornet is also known for its use in military bands, particularly in the United Kingdom. The instrument has a strong association with the British military and is used to play the traditional British military march.

What Is A Trumpet? 

The trumpet is a brass instrument that has been used for centuries. It is believed that the earliest trumpets were used in ancient Egypt, where they were used for ceremonial purposes. The ancient Greeks and Romans also used trumpets for military purposes, signaling the start and end of battles. In the Middle Ages, the trumpet was used to signal the start and end of the day, as well as for fanfare and other musical purposes. 

During the Renaissance, the trumpet was used for music in churches and in royal courts. 

During the Baroque period, the trumpet was used to play fanfares and other ceremonial music. It was also used in the military and was popular in brass bands. In the 19th century, the trumpet was used in classical music, and the first valve trumpet was invented. Valves allowed the trumpet to play a wider range of notes and be tuned more precisely.

In the 20th century, the trumpet was used in jazz and popular music and was an integral part of the big band sound. It has also become popular in rock, funk, and other styles of music. Today, the trumpet is used in a variety of genres, from classical to jazz to rock.

What Is The Difference Between Them?

The main difference between a cornet and a trumpet is the shape of their bells. A cornet has a conical bell shape, while a trumpet has a more cylindrical bell shape. This difference in shape affects the sound of each instrument, with the cornet producing a mellower, a more rounded sound than the trumpet. The cornet is also slightly smaller than the trumpet, which makes it easier to play with smaller hands.

Which Was Made First?

The cornet is believed to have been invented in the early 19th century, making it the first of the two instruments.

Who Are Some Famous Cornet Players  

James Shepherd

Herbert L Clarke

Harry Mortimer

Maurice Murphy

Jean Baptiste Arban

Willie Lang

Ken Smith

Who Are Some Famous Trumpet Players  

Louis Armstrong 

Miles Davis 

Alison Balsom 

Harry James

Wynton Marsalis

Chet Baker 

Maurice Andre 

Arturo Sandoval 

Where Can I Buy A Cornet Or Trumpet? 

Now you’ve heard from these legends above, where can you buy one for yourself and become masters of these instruments yourself? 

You can buy cornets from websites such as Dawkes, Band Supplies, or Amazon.

You might also be interested in reading other articles similar to this one, about blues and jazz music, the free trumpet sound effect, or other musical instruments you can play. What about playing a virtual piano or what is the best mandolin VST? We have it all here for you at Music Gateway. 


closed button
Music Gateway Company Logo

Get started today

Join for Free