Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by New South Welshman, Nov 28, 2009.
Can anyone tell me anything about this cornet?
If you search "Besson" and "serial numbers" you will be able to find the approximate date of manufacture.
I am confused. Is that designed to play in Bb and Eb or maybe Bb and C?
I have never seen that arrangement with two leadpipes before. In those days it was mainly removeable shanks.
With only one set of valve slides it seems unlikely it could be Bb/Eb. Bb/C is possible, although again tuning would be difficult. Seems more likely to me it's just an alternative system for a Bb/A cornet.
I haven't played it yet. My dad bought it at auction the other day and I'll be going down to play it over the Christmas break. My dad's not a bad player and gets a C (concert Bb) out on the longer configuration and a slightly flat C# (concert B) on the shorter configuration. The serial number indicates a 1920s build (British Army went to A440 in 1928) so I'm guessing that this instrument was built to be able to play in bands who had made the change to low pitch (A440) and those who hadn't yet purchased the new instruments and were stuck in high pitch (A456).
This was also an instrument built for the Australian market so this change took a great deal longer that it did in the UK, making an instrument like this quite useful.
I don't know if the A456 crook (the shorter one) was an addition or was actually built like that. I'll let you all know after some more research.
Hmm. My research was a little off . . .
The Horniman Museum guide,
suggests that the instrument was built in 1870!
Still has the original mouthpiece too. Can't wait to play it!
This web page has some interesting similar instruments:
Oops. I read the serial number incorrectly (read 5 serial numbers instead of the 6).
The instrument was made in 1923. This makes much more sense. An instrument built during the changing period between high and low (standard) pitch that could do both jobs.
Anyone know who JJS was? (engraved on the bell)
Separate names with a comma.