Instruments | Piccolo | Late Romantic | Classical
Half the size of the flute, the piccolo is played the same way: held sideways to the mouth. The player blows not into but across a small hole. It sounds an octave above the flute and came into orchestral use in the late classical age, making an appearance in Beethoven’s Fifth and Sixth Symphonies and the ‘Egmont’ Overture. It was written for by Verdi in his Requiem and Mahler in his First Symphony, both of whom seem to have overestimated how low it could play. Perhaps its most famous appearance is in Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker (‘Chinese Dance’).
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