Piccolo Trumpet

Piccolo TrumpetThe piccolo trumpet is half the length of the trumpet and is pitched one octave higher. Some piccolo trumpets have three valves; however, four is standard. Since the instrument is short, it needs a fourth piston valve in order to sound lower notes.

In the 1880s the German trumpeter Julius Kosleck began playing baroque trumpet parts on a straight-tubed trumpet in A with two valves. From the 1890s, trumpets in high Eb/D and F/Eb were made in Belgium, but failed to gain widespread acceptance – in 1905, for instance, Richard Strauss (1864–1949) recommended the use of metal clarinets in Eb for the baroque trumpet parts in the extended and revised version of Berlioz’s instrumentation theory (!).

In 1905 Victor Charles Mahillon (1841–1925) developed a piccolo trumpet in high Bb with the fundamental Bb3. This instrument achieved general acceptance in the 1960s.