THE PICCOLO is pitched an octave higher than the concert flute, and is always audible! Some flute-players don’t like playing the piccolo, partly because it is harder to achieve as gentle a sound as the flute, and also because its size makes it more fiddly to play. Nevertheless, it makes a remarkable contribution, given its size, to such works as the end of Beethoven’s
Piccolos can be made of as wide a variety of materials as the flute, but in general they contain more wood than the modern flute. This makes their maintenance harder, and playing out of doors has special hazards, especially in high temperatures. Intonation is also difficult to get right on the piccolo. Its high sounds can be the devil to get under control. And everyone notices if they are not behaving themselves!
Anna Pyne talks about the piccolo, and shows some of the instrument's potentials and hazards.