What the Cornet Revolution is Not

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You're probably wondering:

What in the world is the "Cornet Revolution?"

Is this a joke? Should I take it seriously?

Rather than trying to explain what the Cornet Revolution is, I think it would be easier to explain what it is not.

While the Cornet Revolution is most definitely NOT a joke, there is absolutely humor involved in delivering the message.

What is the message? That the cornet is a great instrument which can and should be taken seriously in the music world.

To clarify: It's not that the Cornet isn't taken seriously. It's just that it's often thought of as the nerdy, chess-playing, pocket-protector-adorned little brother of...

The Trumpet: the star quarterback of the varsity football team to whom all the girls flock, hoping to get a moment of its attention.

Cornet is for British brass bands, maybe a few jazz artists, and nothing more, according to conventional wisdom.

Trumpet players think of the Cornet as a cute little addition to their collection they can play occasionally.

Or not. I mean, you can always turn it into a nice table lamp.

It's certainly not a necessity to one's collection.

That it's an instrument to be played exclusively by an artist in "serious" settings, i.e. anything other than a smoke-filled jazz club?

That it can one day be the instrument of choice by a solo performer at Carnegie Hall?

No way. That ship has sailed.


That being said, allow me to list a few things which are not the goal of the Cornet Revolution.

  1. It's not an attempt to replace the trumpet in orchestra's, big bands, movie soundtracks or other places where the trumpet has proven itself useful.
  2. It's not a forum for "cornet enthusiasts" to hang out and reminisce about the "glory days" of the Cornet, as if to suggest that its best days are behind it.
  3. It's not an attempt to create a degree in "cornet performance" at a major university. While a supporter of the Cornet Revolution may seek that route, it's certainly not the only way for a musician to build a successful career in the modern Internet era.
  4. It's not a place to disparage anyone, nor to attack people's personal career choices. On occasions when I call anyone out by name, I promise I've obtained their permission and they're "in on the joke."

Comrades, history has been written, and it has been written in stone.

We can't undo what has happened in the past, but together we can write a new history for the Cornet.

It won't happen by trying to be trumpet players.

The artistic output of a Cornet artist will be decidedly different from that of a trumpeter.

For example, hitting a Dubble Cee never was a priority for me.

Doc Severinsen and Maynard Ferguson never really lit my fire, although I do appreciate their virtuosity on the trumpet.

To be successful, we must exercise our creativity muscles to the max. We have to be willing to try things that others won't try for fear of upsetting the Status Quo.

What have we to lose, comrades?

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