Cornett German
Cornettino Italian
Cornetto Italian?
Kornett German
Singend[e] Kornett[e] German
Cink Dutch?
Cinq Dutch
Zinck[e] German
Zink[e] German
Zinken German
Cornetto Muto Italian?
Cornetto Torto Italian?
Cornetin (unknown)
Cornettin (unknown)
Zünk German
Corno Italian
Cornon (unknown)
Cornu (unknown)
Litice Latin
Lituus Latin

Cornet, corneta, cornett, cornetto, cornetto curvo, cornet à bouquin, kornett, and zink are all names given to members of a family of Renaissance musical instruments. Constructed and fingered like a woodwind but blown like a trumpet, these instruments have bright and often loud timbres. Organ stops of the same names were originally intended to imitate these instruments, sometimes by means of reed pipes, and sometimes by multiple ranks of flue pipes. This article focuses on the reed form of this stop; for the compound form, see Cornet.

This stop is most often found in pedal divisions, usually at 2' or 4' pitch, occasionally at 8', and rarely at 1'. On the manuals, according to Williams, it was replaced early on by the Schalmei. It is mainly used as a solo stop, originally for cantus firmus melodies. Sixteenth-century organ builders of the northern Netherlands developed a preference for the reed form of this stop, and this preference spread to northern Germany. It was common in central Germany during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Adlung describes it as having the scale of a Regal, but somewhat narrower and longer, with conical resonators of tin-plated sheet iron or pipe metal. He specifies resonator lengths of 9" at 4' and 4"-5" at 2'. Praetorius gives it cylindrical resonators, heavy tongues and high wind pressure.

Adlung and Wedgwood consider Litice or Lituus to be synonyms. Wedgwood considers Orlo to be a synonym, and states that the name Cornettino has been used for "a reedy-toned Fifteenth".

Not to be confused with Cornettin.
See also Zynck, Clarina, Basskornett.
The name Cornett has also been used as a synonym for Cornet. There are other meanings for the names Lituus and Cornetto.


Osiris contains about 150 examples of Cornett, of which about three dozen are reeds, all from the 20th century; fourteen examples of Cornetto, all of which are mixtures; eight examples of Cornettino, of which three are mixtures; eleven examples of Singend Kornett, all at 2' pitch. It contains 6 examples of Cornet as a 4' reed, and 39 examples as a 2' reed. No examples are known of Cornetin, Cornetto Muto, Cornetto Torto, Cornu, or Zünk. Contributions welcome.

Cinq 2', Pedaal; Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Vater, Muller, Witte 1727-1870. This is the only known example of this name.

Cink 2', Pedaal; Grote of St. Bavokerk, Haarlem, Netherlands; Müller 1738.

Cornet 2', Pedal; St. Petri und Paul, Cappel, Germany; Schnitger 1680. This is the earliest known example of this name as a reed.

Cornet 2', Pedal; Nicolaikirche, Hamburg, Germany; Schniger 1682 (destroyed).

Cornet 4', Pedal; Noordbroek, Netherlands; Schnitger 1695-96.

Cornett 2', Pedal;

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Adlung[1]: §131 Cornettino, Cornetto, Cornu; §132 Cornet; §211 Zink. Audsley[1]: Cinq; Cornettino; Zink. Audsley[2]: I.XIII Zinken. Grove[1]: Cornet; Cornett; Zink. Irwin[1]: Trumpet; Zink. Locher[1]: Tuba Mirabilis. Maclean[1]: Cornett; Zink. Sumner[1]: Cornett; Zink. Wedgwood[1]: Cornet; Cornettino; Zink. Williams[1]: Glossary: Cornet; Cornett; Zink.
Copyright © 1999 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
Zink.html - Last updated 11 December 2007.
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