) is a
, and a member of the woodwind
family of musical instruments. The piccolo
has the same fingerings as its larger sibling, the flute, but the
sound it produces is an octave higher than written. This gave rise
to the name "ottavino
," the name by which the
instrument is referred to in the scores of Italian composers.
Now only manufactured in C, piccolos were once made in D , as well.
It was for that instrument that John
wrote his famous march, "Stars and Stripes Forever
In the orchestral setting, the piccolo player is often designated
as Piccolo/Flute III or even Assistant Principal. The larger
orchestras have designated this position as a Solo position due to
the demands of the literature. Piccolos are often orchestrated to
double (i.e. to play together with) the violins or the flutes,
adding sparkle and brilliance to the overall sound because of the
aforementioned one-octave transposition upwards. It is the
highest-pitched instrument in an orchestra or band.
have been composed for piccolo,
including those by Lowell
, Sir Peter Maxwell
, Todd Goodman, Martin Amlin, Will Gay Bottje, Bruce Broughton
, Valentino Bucchi
, Avner Dorman, Jean Doué,
Michael Easton, Egil Hovland
, Guus Janssen
, Tilo Medek, Dexter Morrill,
Raymond Niverd, Daniel Pinkham
Thomas Schudel, and Allan Stephenson. Graham Waterhouse
composed a quintet for
piccolo and string quartet.
Historically the piccolo had no keys, but does today, and should
not be confused with the fife,
or classical piccolo
, which has a smaller bore and is therefore
more strident. The piccolo is used in conjunction with
marching drums in traditional formations
at the Carnival of Basel, Switzerland.
The piccolo was originally made out of wood and was featured in
many prominent composers' works. One of the earliest pieces to use
the piccolo was Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, only playing
during the final (IV) movement. Today, the piccolo can be found
made from a range of materials, from plastic (or resin), to silver,
to wood. Finely-made piccolos often come with a similar variety of
options as the flute
, such as the split-E
- The Complete Piccolo, compiled and edited by Jan
Gippo, Theodore Presser Company, 2007/08. ISBN 1-59806-111-9
- Martin Amlin page of Presser website.
- Will Gay Bottje Piccolo Concerto, American
Composers' Alliance website.
- Avner Dorman on the Cabrillo Music Festival
- Concerto for Piccolo, Percussion and Strings,
Australian Music Centre page.