The word piccolo in the Italian language means “little.” It is sometimes called the “little flute” because it is a smaller relative of the flute. There is usually only one piccolo in an orchestra. The piccolo is pitched an octave higher than the flute and can be made of wood, silver, or alloys.

This tiny instrument is fingered and blown just like a flute. Although its lowest notes are very weak, the shrill highest notes can be heard even above the largest orchestra.