An old postcard: enter image description here

Someone asked "What are they?" and one answer was "coronets."  I've never heard of such but maybe "cornet" was intended.  I've played cornet, trumpet, and other brass. These are shaped more like trumpets than cornets, except for the length and direction of the bell.  Until this, I had never seen anything like them.

What are they called, and what is the benefit of pointing the bell behind the player?

  • 1
    The benefit of pointing the bells behind them is when they're marching at the front of the group, the people behind them can hear.
    – Duston
    Feb 13 at 0:16
  • It occurs to me if the player himself can't hear what he's playing the soldiers marching in behind probably wouldn't want to.
    – user96668
    Feb 13 at 16:49

1 Answer 1


These are saxhorns in an over-the-shoulder style. This is a typical late 19th century American style of this originally french instrument, used mostly in military marching bands. This configuration allows for a military band to be heard by soldiers marching in behind.


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