Cornetto, Historical Trumpets & Winds

Cornetto Maker & Historical Mouthpieces

Bass Serpent:

I make two types of serpent mouthpiece, church and a military style. These are based on a large collection of surviving mouthpieces from Paris. The church mouthpiece has a bowl shaped cup and a sharp throat and blends well with voices. The military mouthpiece is more conical and deeper, again with a sharp throat, it projects more  is more suited to outdoor or solo playing.

Both models are very light and have thin walls. The sharp throat dramatically improves tuning and stability compared with a “modern” shaped rounded throat. The sound is reedy which blends well with voices and bassoons.

These can all be made to any specification or requirement. Interestingly, the rims on these French mouthpieces are very narrow, I have been asked to make rims a bit larger which some feel is more comfortable. I usually suggest an outside diameter 8mm larger than the inside as a comfortable narrow rim.

I am very grateful to Volny Hostiou for sharing his research with me on the Paris serpents and their mouthpieces and to Nicholas Perry for his assistance in developing them.

I  make serpent mouthpieces in buffalo horn, ox horn, bowood, exotic hardwoods and brass.


The second is copied from an original mouthpiece that is attached to a Forveille. It also has a sharp throat but a deeper, more U shaped cup. As with the other historical serpent mouthpieces it has a relatively thin rim.

It can be made with a wider rim if desired.

Silver and gold plating on request at extra cost

This copy was commissioned by Berlioz Historical Brass


English Bass Horn:

Copied from an original in the University of Edinburgh Museum associated with an English Bass Horn in C (193). The cup measures 28mm in diameter. It has a very deep bowl shaped cup and has a reasonably wide and rounded rim.

The original is made from Ivory. I have made these from a single piece of horn as shown and from boxwood with a Brass shank.

This copy was commissioned by Berlioz Historical Brass


Tenor Serpent:

Developed for use with the Christopher Monk tenor serpent or ‘serpenteau’. My mouthpiece dramatically improves the tuning and makes the sound more direct and precise. It has a similar cup shape to my church serpent mouthpiece copied form the Paris museum.