The cornetto is a hybrid instrument with a small trumpet-like mouthpiece and fingerholes like a recorder; it is made in wood and covered in leather (usually - some surviving historical instruments are of ivory). It was made in several sizes, the most popular being the treble in G. Typically the instrument has an slight curve and an octagonal cross-section, often with a diamond pattern cut into the upper section below the mouthpiece socket; it has six fingerholes and a thumbhole.

Its heyday was the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, when it was the most highly regarded wind instrument. It was prized for the resemblance of its sound to that of the human voice (considered to be the most perfect instrument) and for its suitability for performing elaborate ornamentation; always considered a difficult instrument, it spawned a select group of highly regarded (and highly paid!) virtuoso players such as Giovanni Bassano and Girolamo Dalla Casa, both of whom worked at the Basilica di San Marco in Venice.

The name derives from the Italian for "little horn" ("corno" - horn, plus the suffix "etto" - small); it is also nowadays often referred to as "cornett" (with two t's to give a distinction from the modern brass instrument, with which it has no connection).
The repertoire for the instrument covers the Renaissance and early Baroque periods. The most well-known work which calls for cornetti is Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610, and there are also important cornett parts in music by Giovanni Gabrieli, Heinrich Schutz and Michael Praetorius. It was used in both sacred and secular music, and besides pieces such as the Vespers which mention the instrument by name, it would have been a natural choice for most high-lying parts, which typically were marked only "canto". Thus it appeared in Waits' bands playing ceremonial and dance music, as well as in church reinforcing vocal lines and playing instrumental canzonas and sonatas.

Its flexibility in the hands of a good player made it suitable for virtuoso display, and at its height it was expected to do anything a violin or a human voice could do; many works of the early seventeenth century are marked "violino o cornetto" (violin or cornett) implying that either was a suitable choice.

The difficulty of its technique meant that even at the height of its popularity there were relatively few really accomplished players, and the instrument went into decline during the second half of the seventeenth century as violin technique developed and as other wind instruments such as oboes became more sophisticated. It has also been suggested that several of the leading players died during the great Venetian plague of 1630, leaving few people to teach the instrument! The use of the cornetto survived longest in Northern Europe; J S Bach calls for it in some of his cantatas, but by this time it would have been considered rather old-fashioned, and by the end of the eighteenth century it had more or less died out.

The cornetto is played nowadays by players involved in historically informed performances (HIP). The combination of woodwind and brass techniques - normally quite different disciplines - and its general intractability make it a challenging instrument, but the result in the hands of a good player is something quite magical - a sound which, perhaps like no other instrument, conjures up the sound-world of a bygone age.

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.

 

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.

 

Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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