Mute cornettini

Possibly the most unusual cornetti preserved in the Vienna Collection are the two tiny „mute cornettini“, which are straight and have a carved-in embouchure, but due to their length fall under the cornettino category. 

SAM 219 and SAM 220 have very small embouchures and are very difficult to play. As far as we know still no modern player has really figured out their use or included any similar instrument in a modern performance or recording. 

These instruments are an oddity, a challenge to modern players, a source for musical and musicological questioning and possibly a new chapter of the modern rediscovery of the cornetto yet to be written.

Bellow there is a brief description of both instruments.

SAM 219

„Mute cornettino“

Instrument’s length: 431,5 mm.


Visualization of SAM 219’s carved-in mouthpiece.

SAM219 mouthpiece

SAM 220

„Mute cornettino“

Instrument’s length: 431,5 mm.


Visualization of SAM 220’s carved-in mouthpiece.

SAM220 mouthpiece

Source of the measurements and pictures: Beatrix Darmstädter, "Die Zinken und der Serpent der Sammlung Alter Musikinstrumente“, Edition Bochinsky, 2011, ISBN 978-3-941532-08-3

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