The piccolo


Piccolo (head ebony)

Piccolo (silver head)

The piccolo is a woodwind instrument, specifically a timber belonging to the family of the flute. It is also known as "small flute".

Much smaller than the large flute - it is roughly half its size - it has nearly the same extent, but he can not play either the C or the C # major, and it sounds to the octave higher. However, it is composed of two sections: the head and body, and is made of wood (usually ebony, but boxwood), metal (silver, nickel), or Resin study models. It became popular about 200 years ago.

It is customary to write parts of piccolo an octave lower, in order to maintain a correspondence fingering / sounds identical to the writings of the great flute. The piccolo in C is not classified as transposing instrument, because it does not change octave transposing tone . This is not the case for the piccolo in D The sounds are produced, for the latter, more acute by an octave and a half-tone diatonic sounds as writings.

This is the sharpest tool in the orchestra , and tone, particularly penetrating, makes clearly audible over a tutti.

It is sometimes confused with the fife (which is the ancestor without a key or single key), reflecting the look and play very similar to the two instruments.

(Source: - copyright authors - article under GFDL)

Creation date : 28/03/2009 16:38
Category : Files - Instruments-Woods
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The diatonic scale

A diatonic scale is a musical scale called heptatonic, with 7 degrees with 5 tones and 2 half-tones.
This type of scale is the foundation of western music. It is possible, through alterations of the diatonic scale to add a number of intermediate ones, placed near the middle of each tone diatonic. In this case, the scale and amplified, is called chromatic scale. The exact frequency of these intermediate scores can be problematic in agreement: the so-called "equal temperament" simplifies the chromatic scale of reference.


The octave in music

The etymology of the word octave just music: it takes eight grades to have a frequency twice as high.
Indeed, the one to play in tune, it must produce a frequency of 440 Hz to play the octave above, it is necessary to produce a frequency of 880 Hz, ie, exactly twice.
In music, an octave is the interval between two sounds whose fundamental frequency of one is twice the frequency of the other. Divided into several sub-intervals, it allows to define the ranges.


In western music, the word means a tone scale music belonging to the tonal system.

  • Caught in a broad sense, the word "tone" can refer to the tonal system as a whole.
  • The word can also take the direction of height, its fundamental to some instruments.
  • The word tone can be used as a synonym for tone.

A tone is defined as the set of intervals, melodic and harmonic as well, between hierarchical levels of a given scale compared to its fundamental level, called tonic. A tone is characterized by both the tonic and its mode.
Each key is constructed from the diatonic scale.

The tone is also a means to locate a musical instrument in relation to C reference.
The flute, violin or piano are in C, that is to say that when the C is played, it really means to do. The B-flat trumpet sounded really flat so when playing a do. The horn (in F) is heard when playing an F do.

The tone is very important because it will allow transposition and transcription of partitions in C in tones of instruments with different pitches.

Some instruments and their tone:

  • Ut: Piano, strings, flutes and piccolo, oboe, bassoon, C trumpet, trombone, tuba, bass tuba.
  • D flat: the old piccolos.
  • Re: Trumpet in D.
  • Eb: alto saxophone and baritone, small bugle, horn in E flat, alto (small tuba), clarinet, bass tuba.
  • F: Cor.
  • Sol: Trumpet in G.
  • The: Oboe d'amore, the trumpet.
  • Bb: soprano saxophone, tenor tuba (euphonium and baritone), B-flat trumpet, flugelhorn, clarinet, bass tuba (bombardon).