Tenor Cornett

Tenor CornettThe tenor cornett or lizard was a common musical instrument in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. This instrument was normally built in C and the pedal note of the majority of tenor cornetts was the C below middle C. A number of surviving instruments feature a key to secure the lowest note. The instrument has a useful range of approximately two and a half octaves, however, an experienced player with a strong embouchure may be able to push the instrument higher.

The tenor cornett was used by composers like Giovanni Gabrieli, Heinrich Schütz and Orlando di Lasso as an alto or tenor voice in an ensemble of cornetts and trombones.

Like most specimens of treble cornetts, tenor cornetts were usually pitched in Chorton or Cornettton, ca. a' = 466 Hz – around a semi-tone higher than modern concert pitch, which is a' = 440 Hz.