The cornett is a wind instrument played first in Italy, and later in all Europe, especially during th 16th and 17th centuries. Its unique colour of tone makes it one of the emblematic instruments of the Renaissance and Baroque eras.
Made after its medieval ancestor the cow horn, the curved cornett (the most common form) is an instrument made of wood, with holes (as a recorder or flute), and covered in parchment. It as a mouthpiece in which one’s lip must vibrate in order to produce a sound, just like any brass instrument. One can also come across straight cornetts.
Another type of cornetts is the mute cornett : it’s always straight, and it is played without adding a mouthpiece. Its sound is generally considered as softer as that of the cornett.
At last, the “soprano” cornett is the most common one, but it existed as a “family”, like most instruments at that time, and one can find cornetts of any length, covering all the registers from “sopranino” (called “cornettino) to bass.