Cornets and Tubas in MIMEd

TitleCornets and Tubas in MIMEd
DescriptionThis sub-collection includes intermediate bore profile instruments - those coming between the mainly cylindrical bore of trumpets and the nearly conical bore of bugles. It totals over 320 instruments plus a similar number of mouthpieces. Most of the collection are valved instruments and represent one-and-a-half centuries of development, from the period when the invention of the valve allowed instrument makers to experiment with bore profiles which could not have produced satisfactory musical instruments with finger-holes, keys or slides. This period of development coincided with a time of rapid growth in military and civilian bands. Many of the instruments in this division were used by pure brass bands or mixed wind bands. Unlike horns, trumpets and trombones, intermediate bore profile brasswind instruments such as cornets and tubas owe relatively little to pre-valve instruments. However, the cornet can to some extent be considered as a valved post-horn. The post-horns in the Collection are included in this division. As well as saxhorns by Adolphe Sax's firm and other French makers licensed by Sax to make ‘autorisé’ saxhorns, the Collection includes examples of earlier intermediate bore profile models, the néocor and clavicor ‘family’, which differed from the saxhorns mainly by having terminal crooks similar to those of the cornet-à-pistons of the time rather than the saxhorn's fixed mouthpipe. Many of the ingenious systems of compensation are present, including Gautrot's ‘système equitonique’ of 1858, which is the system patented by Blaikley (1878) and still in use, the Daniel ‘Arban Compensateur’ instruments, Boosey's alternative system on the same principle as the double horn (used in the 1890s), and `Enharmonic Patent' valves (Besson & Co. 1904), and Hawkes's ‘Dictor’ model euphonium. The ‘système Besançon’ valves, although not compensating, are an effective attempt at smoothing the windway though piston valves. Of particular note are three examples of the professional model of tuba used in Britain when the tuba was established as a regular orchestral instrument from the 1890s, the five-valve F tuba associated with the tubist Harry Barlow. The examples here include probably respectively the first (1896) and the last (1931) he had made for him.
CustodianRobert Glen (1835-1911); E.R. Mickleburgh (1914-1984); Colonel Thomas Bradney Shaw-Hellier (1837-1910); H.I. Brackenbury (1869-1938); Professor Arnold Myers (1944-); University of Edinburgh.
Custodial HistoryItems from the Glen Collection were purchased in 1983; the Brackenbury Collection was allocated by the Government in 1991; further items are on loan.
Parent Collection MIMEd