This iteration of the stopped trumpet takes the form of a miniature hand horn fashioned from brass, complete with an extensive assortment of crooks and a chamois-lined compartmentalized wooden case. The instrument is supplied with six internal crooks (inserted centrally into the body of the instrument in the manner of an inventionstrumpet or cor solo); two internal crooks that shorten the sounding length of the instrument, with a mouthpiece receiver that bypasses the terminal crook receiver on the body of instrument and one leg consisting of dummy tubing; three terminal crooks, and one coupler. The instrument and its crooks have similar hollow, tubular stays with rectangular flanges. Although no evidence of polychrome is present, it is likely that the instrument would originally have had a painted bell interior. The body of the instrument is engraved on the bell, in copperplate script, as follows:
Jahn, à Paris
Despite the invention of valves for brass instruments in 1814, makers and performers continued to experiment with a wide range of technology and performance practice techniques to enable brass instruments to play chromatically during the first half of the 19th century. This was driven both by teething problems with early valves and by a timbral aesthetic that prized the expressive nuances of hand stopping on natural brass instruments. Although this was best exemplified by the hand horn, the technique was also applied to natural trumpets that were configured to allow easy access to the bell interior and is described in a number of treatises, including those by Joseph-Gebhardt Kresser, Karl Bagans, and Joseph-David Buhl. By inserting fingers into the instrument’s bell and closing it off to varying degrees, the notes of the harmonic series can be manipulated to produce a chromatic scale. This technique and its resultant veiled timbre made the circular trumpet particularly well suited to soft, lyrical playing, which placed it at odds with the natural trumpet’s characteristic bright sound and use in the orchestra as a declamatory fanfare instrument. For this reason, the circular trumpet was cultivated primarily as a solo instrument. Although widely classified as circular trumpets today, the term ‘cornet simple’ was also used to refer to these instruments. The chromatic capacity of this instrument and its predisposition towards lyricism indeed links it more closely to the cornet idiom. Unlike the hand horn, which was acoustically better suited to hand stopping and continued to be cultivated in France and Britain throughout much of the nineteenth century, this technique was short lived on natural trumpets and cornets.
Circular trumpet/natural cornet (cornet simple) in the form of a miniature hand horn, made of yellow brass, with typical French bell rim rolled over wire. Matching tubular braces are found on the instrument and its crooks. The bell section was joined with a tabbed seam. The instrument is supplied with six internal crooks (inserted into the tuning slide legs in the manner of an inventionstrumpet or cor solo) that lengthen the instrument, two internal crooks that shorten the instrument (ascending), three terminal crooks, and one coupler. The legs of the internal crooks have one exposed tenon and one socket. The tenons are furnished with a protective sleeve that is removed to insert the crook into the instrument.
Crooks are as follows, identified by diamond-shaped white metal tags:
Two internal crooks, with one leg consisting of dummy tubing. The crook has a mouthpiece receiver; this bypasses the terminal crook receiver on the corpus of instrument and reduces the sounding length of the instrument’s body:
LA B; SOL
Six internal crooks that must be played with a terminal crook in place:
FA [also can be used as the tuning slide with terminal crooks]; MI; MI B [stamp indistinct]; RE; UT; SI B [stamp indistinct]
Three terminal crooks:
S B; LA; FA
One coupler (inserted between corpus and terminal crook):
Crooks with mouthpiece receivers have matching, diamond-embossed trim. Additionally, all crooks have similar hollow, tubular stays (diameter varies slightly) with rectangular flanges and individually formed key tags (diamond-shaped with slightly rounded points). All fit and function well with the instrument and provide a wide range of keys and tuning possibilities and each crook matches with a compartment in the instrument’s original wooden case.
The body of the instrument is engraved on the bell, in copperplate script, as follows:
Jahn, à Paris
The instrument is supplied with two appropriate contemporary mouthpieces, both of turned brass with one being silver-plated. The bore profile of these mouthpieces is generally conical with a restricted throat and a gently flared backbore and is consistent with those supplied with cornopeans and cornets from the first half of the nineteenth century. No maker’s stamps are present.