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Current time:0:00Total duration:9:50

Piccolo: Interview and demonstration with Nadine Asin

Video transcript

I'm a flutist but I also play the piccolo and the flute has a range from two where's the piccolo has a range from so as you can hear the piccolo is much higher than a flute the flute and the piccolo are kind of sisters or maybe their brothers they're in the same family they're related and the flute obviously it's much larger and longer and that's why it's a lower instrument and we play notes by adding or subtracting lifting our fingers and that's what changes the length of the tube inside and the same for the piccolo I add I put my fingers down or I lift my fingers up to change the length of the tube and therefore change the notes so as I add my fingers as I'm as I'm pressing down on the keys and we're closing the keys I'm making a longer tube inside and lowering the notes I do use wind but I don't use a reed I use my lips to really create the same kind of compression that a reed creates for a reed instrument like the OBE or the bassoon or the clarinet I do that with my embouchure my lips form the embouchure and I create a tube of air inside my throat from my lungs through my neck through my mouth comes out into the flute and the same applies to the piccolo although because the piccolo is so much smaller everything is kind of in miniature on the piccolo so I have a smaller embouchure on the piccolo you can see the difference in the where I blow on the flute and the piccolo on the flute I have an entire lip plate on the piccolo which as you can see is made out of wood so it truly is a woodwind I don't have that so I use my lips to find the position for my embouchure piccolo is used primarily as an orchestral instrument you won't necessarily go to a piccolo recital playing the piccolo in the orchestra you'll also play the flute as a member of the flute section however if you're playing chamber music you will problem primarily be playing flute if you're playing a solo recital you will be playing flute to me the flute is a very lyrical instrument and often in Orchestra we play along with the violins and we kind of float on top of the orchestra or we float on top of the wind section so we have kind of a and the fact that our instrument is either made of silver or gold we've got this real shimmery quality that allows us to kind of create this Sheen in the sound of the orchestra and the piccolo is kind of the icing on the cake because it's because it's so much higher than the other instruments that as a piccolo player you have to be very careful not to overpower the sound of the other winds the sound of you have to blend you have to be a blender to play the piccolo it's small but it's powerful so you have to really think about your role is this is the line that you're playing a supporting line are you playing along with other instruments or is it a solo if it's a solo then you can kind of step into the spotlight but if it's supporting role then you do best to really just kind of cool it and wait and just blend with your colleagues I started playing the flute because my best girlfriend in elementary school at a piano in her house and I every time I went to visit my friend Linda I would make a beeline for the piano I was just totally entranced with this piano and so when they offered in my public school a program for wind instruments I asked my parents if I could play a wood instrument and I was just about to get my braces so we went to my orthodontist how about the float he said and thus my fate was sealed and my parents bought me an instrument and they got me a teacher and at my first lesson we played oh soul a meal as a duet and when I heard her sound she was a high school student and I was 10 or 11 when I heard her sound I thought that's it I've fallen in love and from there on in I played all the time and I joined orchestras and music camp and I was a real music nerd I would say for wind players the kind of sweet spot is 10 to 12 and after that you don't want to lose too much time so 10 to 12 is really that's when you really have to start thinking about it doesn't mean you're going to grow up to be a flute player because you don't know but yeah if you're at all intrigued by the sound of the instrument or the personality give it a try because it's great stuff