Saturday, 6 September 2014

Bass Piccolo

 It's a hilarious name but to Basel piccolo players it's the instrument below their d piccolos.
It is a flute in alto G designed to play loud harmony parts for the Basel cliques.

Fourth flutes exist but are not as common as third (f) flutes.
I've seen one by an English maker and two by American makers in my personal experience.

I posted a little while ago about Tom Abei announcing he was making piccolos on his website.
This was great news to me. Remembering Tom uses boxwood and is a fine maker. This got the wheels turning for a boxwood keyed piccolo. A project so far, no one had been much interested in.
Tom and I are in discussion still about what I think will be a very fine piccolo.

So back to Bass piccolos,

Here is what Tom says of his new instrument design on his webpage:

Bass Piccolo

Simple system 6 keyed Flute in G - the so-calledBass Piccolo * - designed for playing the new harmony lines now being added to the scores of the Basler Fasnachts Märsche (drum and piccolo marches of the Carnival of Basel). TheBasler Fasnachts Piccolo itself is essentially the small version of a simple system flute, tuned one octave above the flute. The Bass is a fourth above the D flute and a fifth below the piccolo, and it has a range of nearly three octaves. For the names of notes and keys of this G flute, it appears conveniant to use the terms in D, as connected with piccolos and wooden flutes, rather than the true pitches (and it is done so in the comment below).
 * (Yes, we know, it should rather be “Alto“. Nevertheless, the instrument is originally meant for playing the bass lines, hence, the term “Bass“ has been adopted naturally.)

I used to own a Ralph Sweet G flute that played very well. I have a great deep melodeon
in G . I would like to get ahold of one of Tom's new fourth flutes and belt away a few tunes.

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