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Thanks to Nancy Nourse for contributing to this page.
Last Update: 9/23/2006
Visitors since 08/20/05
(Titles Listed Alphabetically by Author's Last Name)

The Evolution of the Piccolo as a Solo Instrument from Vivaldi to Present.

The semi-final requirements of the National Flute Association Piccolo Artist Competitions in 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, and 2000.

The adoption and role of the D-flat piccolo and other high band flutes in the nineteenth-century American amateur band.

The Piccolo in the Nineteenth Century.

The Piccolo: An Overview of its History and Instruction.

Teaching the Piccolo: A Survey of Selected College Flute Teachers.

William Hebert: Fundamentals of Playing and Teaching Piccolo.

The piccolo in the chamber music of the twentieth century: An annotated bibliography of selected works.

An annotated performer's guide with revised full scores of the piccolo solos and duets in the John Philip Sousa Library at the University of Illinois.
Do you know of any research on the piccolo that should be added to this list?
If so, e-mail me the details!

Website Content Copyright © 2005 by Christine Beard. All rights reserved.

The life and music of Lowell Liebermann with an emphasis on his music for the flute and the piccolo.

The flute and piccolo music of Martin Amlin: An introduction, discussion, and analyses of the Sonata for Flute and Piano; 'Trio Sonatina' for flute, clarinet, and piano; and Sonata for Piccolo and Piano.

Die geschichtliche Entwicklung der kleinen Flötentypen und ihre Verwendung in der Musik des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts. ("The historical development of the small flute types and their use in the music 17th and 18th Centuries.")

Dramatic use of the solo flute, alto flute, and piccolo in Benjamin Britten's chamber operas.
Excerpts from my D.M.A. Lecture-Recital:
The Evolution of the Piccolo as a Solo Instrument
from Vivaldi to Present
by Christine Erlander Beard

There is no solo repertoire written for piccolo from the 19th century, but the piccolo did become a standard member of the orchestra during this era. The first non-operatic appearance of the piccolo in the orchestra was in the finale of Symphony No. 5 (1807) by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). The piccolo gained more independence in Beethoven's works than in any other non-operatic compositions until Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 (1877), containing the first example of a truly soloistic passage for the piccolo (70 years after it was first introduced to the orchestra!)
The piccolo, the smaller "cousin" of the flute, seems to have appeared in the 18th century. Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) composed three concerti for "flautino" and although scholars aren't exactly sure if this instrument refers to the transverse piccolo (held horizontally) or a sopranino recorder (held vertically), these concerti are considered standards in the piccolo repertoire today.
The piccolo became popular as a solo instrument in the late 1800's and appears frequently on recordings at the beginning of the 20th century when recording technology such as Thomas Edison's phonograph and Emile Berliner's Gramophone (pictured) captured its sound better than that of the flute. This period is known as the "Golden Age" for the piccolo, when over 1200 piccolo solos were composed and recorded from 1889-1930. Civilian and military concert bands were also popular during this era, the most famous of which was headed by John Philip Sousa (1854-1932). These bands would often feature piccolo soloists in works by composers such as Eugene Damare, H. L. Kling, Charles La Theire, and Paul Agricole Genin. These concert bands even existed in Nebraska, an example of which is shown in the photo (below left) of the Humbolt City Band in 1910. (Notice the piccolo player sitting in the front row in the left-hand corner!)
At the end of World War I musical tastes changed; Dixieland and ragtime became popular, forcing record companies to drop concert band and wind soloists from their catalogs. No more important solo works for piccolo written before the mid 1970's. The piccolo still gained ground as a popular solo instrument in the symphonic repertoire in the works of composers such as Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953), and Dimitri Shostakovich (1906-1975). Concert band repertoire continued to utilize the piccolo in a more virtuosic and soloistic fashion as well, evident in works by Gustav Holst (1874-1934), Percy Grainger (1882-1961), and Vincent Persichetti (1915-1987).
In 1973, Persichetti (pictured) wrote his Parable XII for solo piccolo, Op. 125, now considered a standard in the piccolo repertoire. Since that time, hundreds of solo and chamber works for piccolo have been written by prominent composers such as Samuel Adler, Martin Amlin, Bruce Broughton, Michael Daugherty, Daniel Dorff, John La Montaine, Lowell Liebermann, Mike Mower, Thea Musgrave, and Gunther Schuller, just to name a few! The National Flute Association now regularly features piccolo competitions, clinics, performances, and actively commissions new works for the little flute. Many flutists have made a name for themselves as piccolo players, and several are slowly but steadily contributing recordings of the instrument's solo repertoire, including: Walfrid Kujala (Chicago Symphony, retired), Jan Gippo (St. Louis Symphony), Lois Herbine (Orchestra 2001), Zart Dombourian-Eby (Seattle Symphony), Laurie Sokoloff (Baltimore Symphony), Nan Raphael (U.S. Army Field Band, retired) and Cynthia Rugolo (U.S. President's Own Marine Band).
It seems that piccolo enthusiasts today are perhaps enjoying a second "Golden Age."
In any case, it is truly an exciting time to be a piccolo player!


"Piccolo Discography, Part I."  [Lists CDs featuring works for piccolo only.]

"Piccolo Discography, Part II." [Lists CDs that contain piccolo tracks and CDs of the Vivaldi piccolo concerti.]

"Some Observations on the Piccolo."

"A History of the Piccolo." [A brief summary of her doctoral dissertation.]

"Let's Talk Picc." [Monthly article featuring various piccolo topics.]

"Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder: A Piccoloists's Dilemma."

"Embellishment Italian Style." [Features Kujala's ornamentation for the second movement of Vivaldi's Piccolo Concerto in C, RV443.]

"A New Perspective on Note Releases."

"Performing Ravel's Daphnis et Chlöe."

"Piccolo Mobilo." [Unorthodox alternate fingerings.]

"Stress or Strain Forever." [On using a D-flat piccolo for Tchaikowsky's Symphony No. 4 and Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever."]

“Piccolo Repertoire Currently Available.”

"Selected Piccolo Discography." [Contains a list of piccolo recordings - mostly LP's - available up to 1989.]

"The Piccolo: Examining the Footnotes."

"Practice Tips for the Piccolo."

"The History of the Piccolo, from Fifes to Intricate Keys."
Dr. Christine Erlander Beard's
The Online Headquarters for Piccolo Players and Piccolo Enthusiasts Around the Globe!