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The History and Development



of the



Nineteenth-Century Cornet




Copyright © 2000, 2001 by Richard I. Schwartz


This work has been acquired by the Musée des instruments de musique in Brussels, Belgium, the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, Canada, National Music Museum (Vermillion), Stanford University, Washington University and other research libraries, soloists, and historians. It has links to and from The Historic Brass Society, The American Musical Instrument Society, National Music Museum, The Brass Resource Site, and the Vintage Cornet Site.

This work has also been reviewed by The Historic Brass Society: "Schwartz has given us a most useful and badly needed addition to the growth of knowledge of the cornet- one that will undoubtedly prompt more research into the history of this magnificent instrument." (Niles Eldredge in the Historic Brass Society Journal Volume 12, 2000, pp.269-271)

"This document of yours is a truly amazing piece of work...Keep up the great work!" - Roger Webster, premiere British cornet soloist, e-mail correspondence to author.

"An amazingly detailed site with more information about the history of the cornet than you could have imagined!" - Nick DeCarlis, author of the Vintage Cornet Site at

"These books are a welcome addition to band history literature, make no mistake. It's really heartening to see something like this appear, and no doubt I'll be referring to them many times." - Paul E. Bierley, World Renowned Sousa Researcher and Publisher, written correspondence to the author.

The Supplement to The Cornet Compendium is available by purchase only. Cost of the Supplement for shipping within the United States is $30.00 USD. Cost of purchase with first-class mailing to any address outside the United States is $30.00 USD plus the cost of shipping and handling. Contact the author at for further information. The work contains more information about the usage of the cornet in early orchestral and operatic scores, bands and cornet performers during the Civil War, African American bands and cornetists, more names of well and lesser-known soloists, solos, tutors, manufacturers including Arban and Adolphe Sax, and another extensive Bibliography. Special features of the work are a Foreword by Niles Eldredge, world-renowned author and cornet historian, information about many instrument dealers such as Sears & Roebuck, Montgomery Ward, Carl Fischer, Lyon & Healy, and many trade names such as H. Gunckel, F. Jaubert, Henri Gautier, Jules DeVere & Co., Windsor, Lefevre, Marceau, Dupont, Tourville & Co., and Lamoreaux. Information about Salvationist Publishing and Supplies and Salvation Army Bands and a very helpful Index to both the Compendium and the Supplement appears in the work as well.

To view the beginning of the Supplement select the following link: Beginning of Supplement

BOTH THE COMPENDIUM AND THE SUPPLEMENT can be bought together for a discount price of $75.00 USD if mailed to an address inside the United States. If mailed to an address outside the US, shipping and handling will be added to this discount price. Contact the author at for further detalis.


The Cornet Compendium below exists in a freely downloadable format and one hard copy may be downloaded for personal research, non-commercial, and non-profit reasons only. No portion of this document (regardless of format) may be sold, resold, copied, retransmitted, reposted or otherwise used without the prior written permission of the copyright holder of this document.

The physical layout of this document may vary somewhat depending on the printer set-up of the viewer. All pages of this document will print when downloaded, unless the viewer finds an alternate method , e.g., highlighting text and then printing only the text selected, or terminating the printing process itself before it finishes.


To eliminate a lengthy download, over 265 unbound pages of text, a pagination that may certainly not correspond to page breaks, and any ensuing binding costs or problems, readers of this document may purchase a comb bound edition (autographed by the author) with a clear acetate cover for a nominal fee of $50.00 USD (for mailing inside the United States). Contact the author at for details. Cost of the book (with first-class mailing) to any address outside the United States is $50.00 USD plus the cost of shipping and handling. Contact the author for further information. Please monitor this web site for any future additions or changes.

>>>>>>>>>>Another related publication by Richard and Iris Schwartz is " BANDS AT THE ST. LOUIS WORLD'S FAIR OF 1904: INFORMATION, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND DATABASE." <<<<<<<<<< It is a 457-page detailed examination of the bands that performed at the St. Louis World's Fair. It contains general information about the bands, historical entries for over 20 well-known bands at the event, photographs (many in color) of conductors and bands; and a 315 page database of all band pieces played at the event (in alphabetical order by composer), including the name of the band, soloist(s) and instrument(s) (if applicable), and the place and time of performance. Discussions include composers' pseudonyms, a list of the cornet soloists, and many other areas of interest. For more information about prices and binding formats, contact the authors at,or select the following link: Bands at the St. Louis World's Fair


PREFACE …………………………………...................…… Page 3

Purpose, The Author of this Document , Download format (see above), Purchase Format (see above), Proofers of this Document, Editorial Notes, Abbreviations

CHAPTER 1 EARLY HISTORY.............................................Page 7

Early History 1 :Early Documentation, The Halary Workshop, Choice of Instrument, Early History 2 :Valves and Production, Early History 3 :Valves and Production (cont), Early History 4 :Crooks and Shanks, Various Keys and Pitch Levels of Cornets, Position of Valve-Bell-Leadpipe, Typical Instrumentation of the British and American Brass Band of the Nineteenth-Century, Early History 5 :Nicholas Bessaraboff and the Cornet à Pistons, Early History 6 :Acoustical Problems of Three Valves,  Early History 7 :Nationalistic Trends, The Cornet in Works of Major Orchestral/Opera Composers of the Nineteenth Century, Berlioz’ Unique Relationship to the Cornet à Pistons Early History 8 End of chapter.

CHAPTER 2 WELL-KNOWN SOLOISTS................................Page 43

Well-known Soloists from All Walks of Life

Hyperlinks: Well-known Soloists A-Be, Well-known Soloists Be-Bu,Well-known Soloists Ca-Cl , Well-known Soloists Co-CzWell-known Soloists D-G, Well-known Soloists H, Well-known Soloists I-K, Well-known Soloists La-Ll, Well-known Soloists Lo-M, Well-known Soloists N-P, Well-known Soloists R, Well-known Soloists Sa-SlWell-known Soloists Sm-SzWell-known Soloists T-Z

CHAPTER 3 LESSER-KNOWN CORNET SOLOISTS…….......................................................................... Page 122

Names and Citations of Many Lesser-Known Cornetists from all Walks of Life

Hyperlinks: Lesser-known Cornet Soloists (A-E), Lesser-known Cornet Soloists (F-L) Lesser-known Cornet Soloists (M-Sh), Lesser-known Cornet Soloists (Si-Z) and The African American Brass Band Movement, The Syncopated Orchestras of New York and Chicago

CHAPTER 4 SOLOS FOR THE CORNET...............................Page 159

Hyperlinks: Solos for the Cornet A-K, Solos for the Cornet L-Z

CHAPTER 5 TUTORS.................................................................Page 180

Hyperlink: Tutors

CHAPTER 6 MANUFACTURERS..............................................Page 191

Hyperlinks: Manufacturers (A-B), Manufacturers C, Manufacturers D-G, Manufacturers H-K, Manufacturers L-P, Manufacturers S-Z

CHAPTER 7 LINKS ON THE WEB............................................Page 256

Hyperlink: Links on the Web

Photographic sources, General or Research Sites, A Few Library Sites on the Web, Related Information

CHAPTER 8 BIBLIOGRAPHY.......................................................Page 258

Hyperlink: Bibliography

Bibliographic Materials, Supplementary Resources



This compendium is a modest attempt to clarify historical issues, and collect, compile, and organize a wide variety of information about the cornet of the nineteenth century. The cornet dominated the brass instrument soloist arena for many years during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Until very recently, however, the cornet gave way to the trumpet on many scores and was slowly becoming merely a piece of history. Information about the cornet was accessible, but appeared in so many different documents that it was sometimes a challenging task to locate information about the instrument. Hopefully, this compendium will provide helpful information about the cornet and stimulate further research on this magnificent instrument.

Although published documents provided the largest resource for this work, many people must be thanked for their assistance in making this project possible. First and foremost is the author’s wife, Iris, a fine musician, flutist, and conductor. She never did cover her ears when she heard the word "cornet", even though she might have wanted to. She was a source of great strength throughout this entire project and supported every effort. Thanks must also be extended, in alphabetical order, to Kim Baugh, James Beck, Stephen Carlson, James Davenport, Mike Davison, Rolla Durham, Niles Eldredge, James Holden, Ethel Norris Haughton, Art Ibach, Mark LaFratta, Barry Lawshe, Dave Neiser, Kevin Paul, Mark Phillips, Marty Schmitt, David Shaffer-Gottschalk, Susan Slaughter, David Townsend, George Tuckwiller, Robert and Therese Wagenknecht, and Bob Weaver. Thanks are also extended to the Music Faculty and the Johnston Memorial Library at Virginia State University (Petersburg, Virginia), the Gaylord Music Library at Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri), the Salem Historical Museum (Salem, Virginia), the Jones Memorial Library (Lynchburg, Virginia), the Music Library of the University of Richmond, The Shrine to Music Museum, and the companies of the G. Leblanc Corporation, Boosey & Hawkes, Couesnon & Cie, and Tony Bingham.

A very special loving thanks must be placed here to Pookie, the wonderful feline who adopted us about seven years ago. She has been the love of our life in many indescribable ways. Pookie always kept the author company during the typing of this document and sometimes she would be quite vocal and amorous at some pretty crucial moments in the text. She would even push a few extra letters on the keyboard that would make certain sentences look like an ancient untranslatable language. It will certainly be Pookie and my wife whom I will remember and love long after this document is published.

The electronic format of this document makes it unique. Readers are encouraged to submit any suggestions, possible changes, or additions to the author at . The author’s purpose is to have a living document and to refine it into an electronic resource for the cornet of the nineteenth century. This electronic document can be updated, changed, corrected, revised, etc. only by the webmaster. The author is responsible for the content and format of this document, but has no control over or connection to any of the advertising banners appearing in this site.

Images and /or photographs of instruments do not appear in this document, as the work is intended for Internet use and contains many links to other photographic sites listed in Chapter 7.

The Author of this Document

Richard Schwartz is the Coordinator of Music Theory at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia. He has been on the Music Faculty at the institution since 1976, and his responsibilities have included teaching music theory, clarinet, saxophone, woodwind classes, and conducting. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, he received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Instrumental Music Education from The University of Michigan in 1973; Master of Music Degree in Clarinet Performance from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri in 1975; and his Ph.D. in Music Theory from Washington University in 1982. He is active as a recitalist on the clarinet and has performed with many organizations including the St. Louis Symphony, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and the Richmond Symphonic Winds.

A product of the University of Michigan Band under William D. Revelli, he has always had a passion for the cornet. For the past two years he has been performing on the cornet in the Richmond Brass Consort, the Richard Bland College Community Wind Ensemble, and on several historical cornets in the Appomattox Brass Band, a re-creation of a nineteenth-century brass band. Being a guide at the 1999 ITG Convention, he made many new professional relationships with many brass devotees who fully understood his new passion. The author hopes that this document speaks to his deep respect for the instrument and for the long lost names associated with this once leader of all brass instruments.

Proofers of this Document

The proofers of this document are owed a great debt of gratitude. They are all good friends, musicians, and professionals who made the time in their busy schedules to proof this document. Each one made very special contributions to the project and are thanked here alphabetically:

Michael Davison – Thanks are given to Mike for his enthusiastic contribution of information, materials, and his very special sense of humor. He was able to shed light on the great Kryl and other great soloists of the time. It is an honor to sit next to him in many different performing groups. He would always make very helpful suggestions about performing on the cornet and always took an interest in my passion for the cornet, as it also has a very special place in Mike’s experience too. Mike was the Coordinator of the 1999 ITG Conference and continues to teach at the University of Richmond.

Iris Schwartz – Thanks are given to Iris, the author’s wife, for many reasons. The greatest debts of gratitude are owed to her for her patience, love, and willingness to stay with the author throughout this entire project. She has proofed the document many times and made a number of corrections. She teaches middle and high school band, and directs a number of groups in this area, one in which I have the pleasure of playing cornet.

George Tuckwiller – Thanks are given to George for many reasons. Second trumpet with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, George has always been an inspiration to the author of this document. Watching him coach students is inspiring and informative, and his dedication to the students at Virginia State University is unparalleled. George would always make very helpful suggestions about performing on the cornet and shed a different light on the approach to playing. His enthusiastic contributions of documents kept the momentum of this project going to its completion.

Robert Wagenknecht – Special thanks are given to Bob. This project would not have been possible without his very kind contributions of many publications and most astute comments made about the text. He has a great breadth of knowledge about the time period and production of brass instruments, and has been a valuable source of much information. A fine musician, Bob is versatile on many instruments, including the ophicleide and serpent. He is a "Scholar’s Scholar" in anyone’s book.

Therese Wagenknecht – Special thanks are given to Tra. Her knowledge of bibliographic format greatly assisted in the final draft of this document. She encouraged the author’s interest in the cornet and helped to keep the project going until the very end. Tra is quite a unique individual, one who patiently provided information at any hour of the night to assist in the draft.

Robert Weaver – Unique thanks are given to Bob. It was his encouraging comments about playing the cornet that gave the author of this document the reason to pursue this project in the first place. It is he who Iris lovingly "blames" for the author’s obsession with the instrument. Every week, the author performs next to Bob in the Richard Bland College Community Wind Ensemble (directed by Iris), and he is coached by Bob in a very kind manner. Bob’s love of the cornet is unequaled, and his suggestions and enthusiasm for this project always gave it the push when it needed it.



Editorial Notes

  1. Any instrument manufacturer name that appears in capital letters has an entry in Chapter 6. 
  2. Parenthetic references are used in this document as opposed to footnotes or endnotes for easier visual access in the electronic format.

NOTE: Unfortunately, due to the size of these files, internal bibliographic links are not yet provided for internet use.



a                    ante [before]

arr.                arranger, arranged by

b                   born

(b)                 for band

BDAAM        Southern, Eileen. Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983.

c                   circa [about]

d                  died

diss.             dissertation

ed.               editor, edition

eds.             editors

e.g.              exempli gratia, for example

et al.            et alia, and others

F                 appearing in the Edwin A. Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music in the Free Library of Philadelphia

(FR #1234) Patent number registered in France

(GB #1234) Patent number registered in Great Britain

(GR #1234) Patent number registered in Germany

i.e.               id est, that is

ITG             International Trumpet Guild

n.d.             no date

n.n.             no name

no.              number

n.p.             no place, no publisher

Nr.             Number [in German]

(o)              for orchestra

p                 post [after]

(p)              for piano

[sic]            so, thus

TSP            Triple Silver Plated

Unpubl.       Unpublished

(US #1234) Patent number registered in the United States of America