So basically I've been pouring all my resources in producing music for live performances because of commissions and personal gigs. Plus, I've basically created a horn or redesigned an instrument from the 1800's and modernize it with modern tunings, triggers, better projection, and free blowing. It's a rotary-valved cornet with a 100 year-old bell, German designed valves, 4 tuning lead or mouth pipes, plated in 14 karat gold and the places I touch in rhodium. This horn was built by Dr. Bill Jones, and I guess we are going to call it the Monet. 

The recording is me playing the cornet in a empty church late at night with only my cellphone.

Cornet sample.mp4


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  • It sounds great, a little mellower than a trumpet as it is a cornet.  How do you hold it, as the levers appear to be at the bottom.  Is the point of this construction that it is easier to play, better facility?  It looks great.  Did you have it plated or re-lacquered? 

  • Lawrence,you are looking at it from the top. It seems to have a similar design as European rotary trumpets.

    Rodney, does 14 karat gold have some magic tonal properties.

  • Thank you for commenting and the compliments Lawrence! I didn't think anyone actually cared. This project was 6 months in the making and a dream come true. You hold it sideways with your right hand on the valves, then there are places near the bell for your left thumb and middle finger. Then, you ring finger is on the 3rd slide trigger. The point of the entire construction was for a warmer more intimate sound to use in chamber groups, solo recitals, church services, public performances, and quieter settings where a softer, warmer horn could be employed better than a trumpet. This thing can blend with anything, and the rotary valves help with faster, smoother legato transitions and better ornamentation. Plus, the shorter leadpipe gives the horn more color changes also.

  • Hey Bob, I hope all is well with you. The gold helps with producing a warmer sound without out "deadening" it. 

  • Beautiful horn Rodney, it looks like the bell is angled a bit?  So you took an older horn and modified it with updated hardware? Do you plan to market it? 

  • Thanks Ingo, I appreciate it! The bell is perfectly straight and round. It might just be the weird angle of the camera. The bell of the horn came from a 1913 Holton cornet built in Chicago, the valves were made in Germany many years ago also, and everything else was fashioned, designed, and built. There was a lot of work to be done on the valves and bell as well though. Concerning marketing, only time will tell. For me though, it is the best instrument I have ever played. 

  • I came across this video on trumpet construction that is really interesting I think.  Helps to see what Rodney and Dr. Jones have done here.

  • Hey Ingo, thank you for sharing with everyone. It's interesting also that the video is my friend Gordon who lives in Scotland which is part of the capital of the world concerning cornet playing. He gave me a great compliment when I sent him the sound clip saying, "It sounded like a modern European cornet." That was wonderful, because the last thing cornet players want to sound like is American, lol. Even companies like Bach that are famous for their trumpets are not revered for their cornets with people often complaining that they sound like "little trumpets." 

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