The Cornopean is a solo and ensemble chorus reed of 8' pitch, invented by William Hill of London for his Swell divisions, and much favored by Henry Willis, who perfected it. It is supposedly imitative of the orchestral cornet, or cornet à pistons, originally a post horn with valves. The date of Hill's invention is not known, but must be between the mid-1820's, when the orchestral cornet was developed, and 1834, the date of the earliest known example. The Cornopean is essentially a Trumpet of larger scale, having the typical inverted conical resonators. Tonally it lies between the Trumpet and the Horn, though often the name is used interchangeably with Trumpet. Its reeds should be of the closed variety, with thick tongues, and harmonic-length resonators in the treble. The name Cornopean comes from the Latin cornus (“horn”) and the English paean, a hymn of praise.
Wedgwood reports that in Germany the Cornopean used to be a large-scale flue stop with a horn-like tone, similar to the Cor de Nuit. Audsley quotes Allihn as saying “Cornopean (ital.), Päanshorn, ein veraltete Labialstimme con hornartigem Ton. Zu deutsche etwa: Jubelhorn.” Partly translated: “an obsolete flue stop of horn-like tone”. Locher also describes it as a flue, but he then cites examples which are clearly reeds, which casts doubt on his veracity. No examples are known of a flue Cornopean.
See also Cornet à Piston.
Osiris 140 examples of Cornopean, all at 8' pitch except for one at 16' and three 4' extensions. Nearly 90% of them appear in Swell divisions. No examples are known of Päanshorn or Jubelhorn. Contributions welcome.
Cornopean 8', Swell; Cornopean 16', Choir; Town Hall, Birmingham, England; Hill 1834. These are the oldest known examples.
Cornopean 8', Swell; Church of the Immaculate Conception, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Hook 1863.
Cornopean 8', Swell; Parish Church, Davidstow, Cornwall, England; Willis 1870.
Cornopean 8', Bombard; Royal Albert Hall, London, England; Willis 1872.
Cornopean 8', Swell; Woolsey Hall, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA; Skinner 1928.
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Copyright © 2002 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.|
Cornopean.html - Last updated 3 September 2002.