D-flat Piccolo in the Orchestra???

Though they do exist, there are exceedingly few orchestral parts originally written for Db piccolo. There are many instances, however, when transposing a C piccolo part down a half-step and playing on Db piccolo makes a particularly trying passage more manageable in terms of technical difficulty, control, pitch, or any combination thereof. Below is a list of some of the repertoire we found playing on Db piccolo most beneficial. Db piccolos are no longer being made by the major instrument manufacturers, but they rather routinely appear for sale on used instrument forums, so keep an eye out for one of your own!

Delibes – Coppelia, “Musique des automates” (for technical ease)
solo @ reh. 67

Grofé – Grand Canyon Suite (for technical ease)
opening solo

Ippolitov-Ivanov – Caucasian Sketches, “Cortège du Sardar”
(for technical ease and pitch)
opening solo to reh. B

Mahler – Symphony #1 (for pitch)
opening solo
Symphony #2 (for pitch)
5th mvt, reh. 29-31
Symphony #8 (for pitch and control)
final scene, reh. 199
(unison with two pics – both players need to agree on C pic or Db pic)

Prokofiev – Symphony #5 (for control)
3rd mvt, 2 before reh. 77

Ravel – Bolero (for pitch and control)
E Major upper pic line written into the Fl. 2 part
Piano Concerto in G (for technical ease)
1st mvt end

Shostakovich – Piano Concerto #2 (for technical ease)
3rd mvt
Symphony #6 (for pitch and control)
1st mvt solo before reh. 9

Sousa – Stars and Stripes Forever (for efficiency!)
If you play the orchestra part on C piccolo and the band part on Db piccolo, you can always play the march in 2 sharps! No need to learn two different keys.

Verdi – Aida (backstage banda pic parts)
The banda has two piccolos, each with C pic and Db pic passages. If both piccoloists have Db piccolos, it’s just fun to play the parts as written without any transpositions.

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