Freiberger gerader Zink Nr. 1

The Freiberger Collection is a treasure for anyone interested in renaissance instruments and early music in general. Modern research discovered that the instruments held by the 34 decorative angels at the Freiberger’s Cathedral were not decorations but allegedly real instruments unaltered since at least 1594. This claim makes this collection of instruments one of the most valuable in the world for the field.

Within the different instruments three cornetti are preserved, one curved and two very similar soprano straight cornetti, which have been proposed to be real instruments, maybe even instruments which were played at the time. All instruments are now preserved at the Grassi Museum in Leipzig.

Our exact replica of the straight soprano cornetto „Gerader Zink Nr. 1“ of this collection is a playable instrument with its lower octave pitched around A = 480-490 Hz. Nevertheless, the internal tuning of the instrument is utterly puzzling, to the point that we wonder if it is indeed a cornetto or if it would work better with a reed. Or maybe it would require a very different type of mouthpiece? The research is open.

Instrument number 14 in the collection is a curved cornetto instead. This instrument is notoriously thick on the outside but it doesn’t even have an inner bore (only both ends have the beginning of a hole). It was clearly a decoration instrument meant to look real from far away. Nevertheless, the „thick renaissance bore cornetto“ of the Freiberger Collection has become an established theory in the cornetto world and has even led to reconstructions of this instrument and recordings. There is no ground for this theory as this „thick“ instrument is evidently nothing more than a decoration object, without even an inner bore.

More information regarding the Freiberger Collection can be found here:

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