cornu or cornum (Latin: cornū, cornum, "horn," plural cornua, sometimes translated misleadingly as "cornet") was an ancient Roman "brass" instrument about 3 m (9.8 ft) long in the shape of a letter 'G'. The instrument was braced by a crossbar that stiffened the structure and provided a means of supporting its weight on the player's shoulder. Some specimens survive in the archaeological record, two from the ruins of Pompeii.
The cornu may be difficult to distinguish from the buccina. It was used by the Roman army for communicating orders to troops in battle. In Roman art, the cornu appears among the instruments that accompany games (ludi) or gladiator combat in the arena, as on the Zliten mosaic.
In the 1770s, the French artist Jacques-Louis David carried out extensive researches into the ancient Roman instruments that appeared on Trajan's Column in Rome. Two of these instruments – the straight Roman tuba and the curved cornu – were revived in Revolutionary France as the buccin and tuba curva.
See also category: Buccina.
- Bevan, Clifford (1990). "The Saxtuba and Organological Vituperation". The Galpin Society Journal 43: pp. 135–146. Galpin Society. DOI:10.2307/842482. ISSN 0072-0127.
- Thomas Wiedemann, Emperors and Gladiators (Routledge, 1992, 1995), p. 15.
- Bevan (1990), p. 136. The buccin of 1791 should not be confused with a slightly later instrument of the same name (buccin), which was a species of trombone.
This category has only the following subcategory.
- ► Saxtuba (17 F)