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This article is about the instrument in the flute family. For other uses, see Piccolo (disambiguation).
Piccolo
Piccolo.jpg
A Yamaha piccolo. The body is made of ABS resin, and the head is plated with silver.
Woodwind instrument
Classification
Hornbostel–Sachs classification 421.121.12-71
(Flute-like aerophone with keys)
Playing range
Written range of piccolo.png

The piccolo sounds one octave higher than written.

Sounding:
Sounding range of piccolo.png
Related instruments

The piccolo[1] (Italian for "small", but named ottavino in Italy)[2] is a half-size flute, and a member of the woodwind family of musical instruments. The modern piccolo has most of the same fingerings as its larger sibling, the standard transverse flute,[3] but the sound it produces is an octave higher than written. This gave rise to the name ottavino (Italian for "little octave"), the name by which the instrument is referred to in the scores of Italian composers.[4]

Piccolos are now only manufactured in the key of C[citation needed]; however, they were once also available in D. It was for this D piccolo that John Philip Sousa wrote the famous solo in the final repeat of the closing section (trio) of his march "The 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 (play together with) the violins or the flutes, adding sparkle and brilliance to the overall sound because of the aforementioned one-octave transposition upwards. In concert band settings, the piccolo is almost always used and a piccolo part is almost always available.

The first known use of the word piccolo was circa 1854,[5] though the English were using the term already at least thirteen years earlier.[6]

Traditional use[edit]

piccolo being played

Historically, the piccolo had no keys, and should not be confused with the fife, 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.

It is a myth that one of the earliest pieces to use the piccolo was Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, premiered in December 1808. Although neither Joseph Haydn nor Mozart used it in their symphonies, some of their contemporaries did, including Hoffmeister, Süssmayr and Michael Haydn.[7] Also, Mozart used the piccolo in his opera Idomeneo. Opera orchestras in Paris sometimes included small transverse flutes at the octave as early as 1735 as existing scores by Rameau show.[8]

Although once made of various kinds of wood, glass or ivory, piccolos today are made from a range of materials, including plastic, resin, brass, nickel silver, silver, and a variety of hardwoods, most commonly grenadilla. Finely made piccolos are often available with a variety of options similar to the flute, such as the split-E mechanism. Most piccolos have a conical body with a cylindrical head, which is like the Baroque flute and later flutes before the popularization of the Boehm bore used in modern flutes. Unlike other woodwind instruments, in most wooden piccolos the tenon joint connecting the head to the body has two interference fit points which surround both the cork and metal side of the piccolo body joint.[citation needed]

Repertoire[edit]

There are a number of pieces for piccolo alone, by such composers as Samuel Adler, Robert Dick, Michael Isaacson, David Loeb, Polly Moller, Vincent Persichetti, and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Repertoire for piccolo and piano, many of which are sonatas have been composed by Robert Baksa, Robert Beaser, Howard J. Buss, Eugene Damare, Pierre Max Dubois, Raymond Guiot, Lowell Liebermann, Peter Schickele, Michael Daugherty, and Gary Schocker.

Concertos have been composed for piccolo, including those by Lowell Liebermann, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Todd Goodman,[9] Martin Amlin,[10] Will Gay Bottje,[11] Bruce Broughton, Valentino Bucchi, Avner Dorman,[12] Jean Doué, Michael Easton,[13] Egil Hovland, Guus Janssen, Daniel Pinkham and Jeff Manookian.

Additionally, there is a small selection of chamber music that uses the piccolo. One example is the Quintet for Piccolo and String Quartet by Graham Waterhouse. Another is Stockhausen's Zungenspitzentanz, for piccolo and two euphoniums (or one synthesizer), with optional percussionist and dancer.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Piccolo". The Free Dictionary By Farlex. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  2. ^ "Piccolo". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  3. ^ "Transverse flute". The Free Dictionary By Farlex. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  4. ^ "The Names of Instruments and Voices in English, French, German, Italian, Russian1, and Spanish". Yale University Music Library. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  5. ^ "Piccolo". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  6. ^ J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner (eds.), "piccolo, n.2", Oxford English Dictionary, second edition. 20 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1989. ISBN 0198611862. Citing the Times, 6 January 1841.
  7. ^ Nourse, Nancy (April 2008). "The Symphonic Debutante Piccolo: Was it Really Beethoven's Fifth?". Flute Focus (14): 26–29. 
  8. ^ Nourse, Nancy (April 2008). "The Symphonic Debutante Piccolo: Was it Really Beethoven's Fifth?". Flute Focus (14): 26–29. 
  9. ^ "Todd Goodman: Composer". Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  10. ^ Martin Amlin page of Presser website.
  11. ^ Will Gay Bottje Piccolo Concerto,[dead link] American Composers' Alliance website.
  12. ^ Avner Dorman[dead link] on the Cabrillo Music Festival website.
  13. ^ Concerto for Piccolo, Percussion and Strings, Australian Music Centre page.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Gippo, Jan (ed.). The Complete Piccolo: A Comprehensive Guide to Fingerings, Repertoire, and History, second edition, foreword by Laurie Sokoloff; contributing editors, Therese Wacker, Morgan Williams, and Tammy Sue Kirk. Bryn Mawr: Theodore Presser Company, 2008. ISBN 1-59806-111-9
  • Nourse, Nancy. "The Symphonic Debutante Piccolo: Was it Really Beethoven's Fifth?" Flute Focus 14 (April 2008): 26–29.

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piccolo — Please support Wikipedia.
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FOXSports.com

FOXSports.com
Thu, 28 May 2015 11:28:01 -0700

The image of Villanova's band member Roxanne Chalifoux sadly playing the piccolo through her tears after the No. 1-seeded Wildcats' stunning third-round loss to North Carolina State was March Sadness personified, and one of the more indelible moments ...

Hoodline

Hoodline
Tue, 26 May 2015 11:45:00 -0700

From March 2012 until earlier this month, Piccolo Press was in operation at 703 Columbus Ave., helmed by gallery owner and letterpress operator Laura Sample-Mattos. The unique local business quickly became a staple of North Beach's cultural scene, ...

Charleston Scene

Charleston Scene
Thu, 28 May 2015 11:22:30 -0700

When Carmody reached out to Scott Watson, the director of the Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, to get the city involved, the series moved under the Piccolo umbrella for the first time. “Being that it's a music hall, and given my relationship with ...
 
Charleston Post Courier
Wed, 27 May 2015 17:00:00 -0700

Piccolo Spoleto Festival's Sundown Poetry Series presents eight poets at 6:30 p.m. in the Dock Street Theatre courtyard for free readings that combine beautiful words with a gracious, historic setting. The series began with readings by John Lane and ...

The Times and Democrat

The Times and Democrat
Wed, 27 May 2015 22:03:45 -0700

The organ will be dedicated at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, as part of Piccolo Spoleto's L'Organo Recital Series during a special evening performance by organist Stephen Distad and trumpeter Justin Langham, both of Houston, Texas. They will perform as ...

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune
Tue, 28 Apr 2015 19:01:30 -0700

It was two days before the Bears drafted Matt Forte in 2008 that Brian Urlacher, in the middle of a contract stare down with the franchise, showed up at Halas Hall to make some gracious remarks about being selected as a winner of the annual Piccolo Award.
 
Charleston Post Courier
Tue, 26 May 2015 18:51:15 -0700

The Charleston County Public Library auditorium was filled with over a 150 children for the 9:15 a.m. show Tuesday of “The Velveteen Rabbit,” a classic tale about a toy rabbit that desires to be real. The Charleston City Ballet did a fine job of ...
 
Journalscene.com
Tue, 26 May 2015 09:41:15 -0700

Piccolo Spoleto has always brought culture and the arts to Charleston, but with a new park in Summerville, residents will get to enjoy the festival a little closer to home. On May 30, the Ben Miller Band will perform at the new Brown Family Park at ...
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