What is Piccolo?

What is Piccolo? I’ve been a flutist for 5 years, but I also play the piccolo. In comparison to the flute, the piccolo has a higher tone. However, the piccolo is much smaller than the flute: being smaller and shorter thus considered a lower instrument. What is Piccolo

Therefore, to play piccolo, you’ll need to add or subtract through lifting our fingers and that’s what changes the length of the tube inside and hence alter the notes.

So, as you add your fingers, you’ll be pressing down the keys, which closed the keys and hence making longer the tube inside and thus lowering the notes.

Further, the piccolo uses wind and not reed. We use the lips to produce a similar type of compression that the reed creates a reed instrument like the oboe.

In short: Piccolo (pronounced as ‘piccolo’) is a woodwind family member and is considered as a half-size flute. The Piccolo in an orchestral setting is defined as the “piccolo or flute III”.

  1. Origin of piccolo: Western Europe 
  2. Family of piccolo:  Aerophone, Wind instrument, Woodwinds, Flutes 
  3. Invention Date: Mid 1800’s 
  4. The close relation to Alto flute, Bass flute, & Flutes

But, how would a transition from a flute to the piccolo be? Well, as noted above, the piccolo is practically a smaller flute with the same fingerings but with notes being an octave higher and with a smaller embouchure.

Therefore, initially, it would be challenging to adjust to the piccolo’s smaller embouchure. However, the piccolos have only the Eb key at its end and thus lacks the C# & C keys.


I am a 36-year-old trained audio engineer, music producer, and Guitar player; passionate about all things music. I can track bass, guitars, keyboards, and drums and can also program drums. I mix and master with high-end plugins such as Waves, Audiority, Blue Cat, HOFA, etc

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