The piccolo is a musical instrument wind, more precisely a wood belonging to the family of the flute. It is also known as small flute.
Many smaller than the large flute - it is roughly half its size - it has roughly the same size, except he can not play do serious, and it tolls for the octave above. However, it is made up of two sections: the head and body, and is made of wood (ebony mostly, but also boxwood), metal (silver, nickel silver), or resin for modelling study. It became popular there is approximately 200 years.
It is customary to write parts of piccolo in the octave lower, in order to maintain a correspondence fingering / sounds identical to the writings of the great flute. The piccolo in C is not qualified to transposing instrument, because this change octave does not transposing tone. This is not the case for the piccolo in D flat: the sounds are, for the latter, the more acute by an octave and a half-ton diatonic that sounds written.
This is the most acute of the symphony orchestra, and his tone, particularly penetrating, makes it well audible above a tutti.
It is sometimes confused with the fife (which is the ancestor without a key or a single key), which reflects the look and play very similar on both instruments.
Historically the piccolo had no keys, but does today, and should not be confused with the fife, or classical piccolo, which has a smaller bore and is therefore more strident. The piccolo is used in conjunction with marching drums in traditional formations at the Carnival of Basel, Switzerland. The piccolo was originally made out of wood and was featured in many prominent composers works. One of the earliest pieces to use the piccolo was Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, but the most familiar use of the piccolo was of John Phillip Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever".
Read also Lyre