Instrument Overview

picture of a piccolo

The piccolo is a member of the woodwind instrument family. It is the highest sounding instrument in a band or an orchestra.

Piccolo is not an instrument for beginning musicians. Students begin with the flute -- which is played the same way, by blowing air across the embouchure hole -- and may take up the piccolo later on as a second instrument. (This is known as "doubling".) Piccolo players read flute music, but it sounds an octave (eight notes) higher when played on the piccolo.

Piccolo Facts

  • Instrument Family: Woodwind
  • Key: C (concert pitch)
  • Clef: treble clef

Some piccolo players to listen to:

  • Jean-Louis Beaumadier
  • Jennifer Gunn
  • Peter Verhoyen
  • John C. Krell