CORNUCORNU denotes various objects made of horn, especially a wind instrument, anciently made of horn, but afterwards of brass. (Varr. L. L. 5.117.) According to Athenaeus (iv. p. 184 a), it was an invention of the Etruscans. Like the tuba, it differed from the tibia [p. 1.544]in being a larger and more powerful instrument, and from the tuba itself, in being curved nearly in the shape of a C, with a cross-piece to steady the instrument for the convenience of the performer. In Greek it is called στρογγύλη σάλπιγξ. It had no stopples or plugs to adjust the scale to any particular mode (Burney's Hist. of Music, vol. i. p. 518); the entire series of notes was produced without keys or holes, by the modification of the breath and the lips at the mouthpiece (Veget. 3.5). Probably, from the description given of it in the poets, it was, like our own horn, an octave lower than the trumpet. The classicum, which originally meant a signal, rather than the musical instrument which gave the signal, was usually sounded with the cornu. “ Sonuit reflexo
Classicum cornu, lituusque adunco
Stridulos cantus elisit aere.
” (Sen. Oed. 752.) From which lines we learn the distinction between the cornu and lituus, as from Ovid (Ov. Met. 1.98) we learn that between the tuba and corn-- “ Non tuba directi, non aeris cornua flexi.
” The following woodcut, taken from Bartholini (De Tibiis, p. 403), illustrates the above account.
Altar of Julius Victor. (Bartoli, |
Pict. Ant.,p. 76.)